Think Yourself Healthy

Last week I attended a seminar titled “The Immune System: The Mind-Body Connection: Who Gets Sick And Who Stays Well” These programs are a requirement to maintain my Nursing license, and usually pretty dull and boring.  Well, not only wasn’t I bored, but I came away feeling as inspired as if I had heard a great motivational speaker.

In a nutshell, our Immune System protects us from countless bacteria and viruses that we encounter throughout life.  It recognizes foreign invaders (including cancer) and destroys them before we even know they exist.  It’s the reason we don’t die from a cold or the flu or an infected toenail.  It’s yet another part of us that we might take for granted, because it works tirelessly and (in most cases) very effectively, without our attention to it.
Note to self: Add Immune System to gratitude list!

What I found fascinating was the correlation between our Immune System and our mental attitude or mood.  Two things this smarty-pants, PhD researcher said really stood out in my mind (and my notes):
1. Stress does not lower our immunity; depression related to perceived stress lowers our immunity
2. Meditation greatly improves our immunity

This is really great news!  It’s not the stress that makes us sick, it’s our interpretation and response to the stress that makes us sick.  Our powerful mental muscle of perception (which is 100% under our conscious control, at all times, btw) allows us to decide if something is good or bad, big or small, serious or not a big deal.  So by not sweating the small stuff, by thinking positive instead of negative, we actually improve our body’s ability to protect us from things that could otherwise make us sick or kill us.

When I made the decision to leave the medical field to start my coaching practice, it was a bittersweet exit.  I truly do love helping people feel better and I worried (but not too much, haha) that I would miss the satisfaction that work provided.  I’ve often felt, I help people at least as much as a coach as I did when I was working in the ICU.  Attending this seminar strengthens that belief and inspires me to keep sharing ways to think and feel better and therefore be healthier.

Whatever stress may be in your life today would only get more stressful if you get sick.  So flex your mental muscle of perception and help your Immune System do it’s thing to keep you healthy.



Filed under FEEL Good, Mind-Body, Thinking

8 responses to “Think Yourself Healthy

  1. Pingback: Think Yourself Healthy | Andrew Stewart's Blog

  2. Hi Linda,

    What a great blog. I always thought I didn’t suffer from stress, because as hard as I work I never felt any effects of stress. I found this statement facinating and true:
    1. Stress does not lower our immunity; depression related to perceived stress lowers our immunity.
    I experienced that first hand in September. After what would have been a stressful year for anyone, the day after my mom’s funeral, my body finally said, “That’s enough, I’m done.” I was shocked because I’m an energizer bunny, I just keep on going, but not this day. I ended up in the ER with SVT, might I add, that was also the same day I hosted Bob into Chicago. Thanks for the insight.

    • OMG Jean~ What a day that must have been! Our bodies are amazingly resilient, especially when we possess a great mental attitude, which I know you do. Your interpretation was right on the money~your body was telling you “that’s enough!” Our body knows best and when our mind tells us we can keep going, sometimes our body (in the form of an illness) overrules and forces us to get the rest it knows we need.
      Thanks for sharing Jean!

  3. MP

    Thanks, Lindar. Interesting that I am very positive person and I NEVER get sick!?? And that my mantra is “I never get sick”…. Hmmmmm? So I guess The Law of Attraction has something to do with this as well! I don’t get a flu shot because I’ve never had the flu ….or been on anti-biotics ….or missed a day of work from illness. I will keep telling this story! With regard to stress, we have talked about my coping mechanisms for it. They include a walk, trip to gym , massage, MEDITATION, OR…. some good old-fashioned self-talk (ask myself “what lesson am I learning from this stressful situation, how will I grow, what am I grateful for….???”). Thanks for helping me to grow. (Even the best students need to always be learning more and growing!)

    • Great share MP! You got it~keep telling that story! The “I never get sick” mantra has served me well too…except for when I got sick a few months back. lolo You do have excellent tools for dealing with stress and I’m so glad you added meditation to your bag of tricks. Thank YOU for letting me grow right along with you. I believe it’s really the best students who WANT rather than need to grow, and you are such a great example of that :o)

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