These days everyone is concerned about strengthening their immune system, and for good reason. There are many things that we can do to accomplish this. I, personally, take a few supplements, do my best to eat right, try to get as much sleep as I am able and workout. Strengthening your immune system is not a one shot deal. It is not as if on Monday you can take a vitamin and say, “great I am good for the week.” This is how it works for your physical immune system. Today, I would like to talk to you about an even more important immune system we need to strengthen. One that affects not only how you feel physically, but how you feel emotionally and spiritually as well.
What I am talking about is your spiritual or emotional immune system. Both immune systems are vital to your overall well-being, but I contend that your emotional immune system is of even greater importance. Why do I say that? I say so because your spiritual and emotional states have a great impact on how you feel physically and the strength of your physical immune system. For example, think of how you feel when you are worried or stressed about something. You certainly cannot be in a good emotional state. Prolonged over any length of time and you begin to feel tired and worn down. Your bodies energy is being focused on handling an event that has not, and may never, actually occur. What about emotional events that do occur? Say you have a moment of discord with your spouse. You have elevated heart rate, your blood pressure increases, you release lactic acid into your system. (Yes, all of this really happens when you get angry) What happens later in the day? Perhaps you develop a headache. Maybe your stomach is upset and you don’t eat as you should. You could be tempted to have a alcoholic drink to ‘calm the nerves’. How does all of this affect your physical body and its ability to fight off disease and illness? I think you can certainly see that is would leave you in a more vulnerable state.
Why is strengthening this immune system so important? Just like our physical immune system it is something we must do every day. We cannot foster a feeling of inner peace one day and expect to be good for the rest of the week. We must take care of our emotions and feelings everyday. Check in with ourselves to see where are focus and mindset are. Just as taking care of our physical immune system supplies us with a layer of protection for our bodies, we must form a ‘protective bubble’ of emotional protection around us as well. We can do this in many different ways. We can keep a journal to help record and vent our thoughts and emotions. We can start a daily practice of meditation to help calm and reset ourselves. We can watch funny movies to help encourage laughter and taking things lightly. My favorite boost for my emotional immune system is to surround myself with people and things that encourage and inspire me. Whether that is my inspirational calendar or having coffee with an inspirational friend, both leave me in a healthier emotional state than I was before.
Another important aspect to remember about this is that you cannot always see things that might affect your emotional and spiritual health. A person can appear perfectly healthy and may share germs with you that may make you sick if you are not careful. You usually never know when you are going to run into someone who may be feeling ill. That is why it is important to keep up your immune system in advance. The same holds true for things that may affect your emotions and spirit as well. This point was brought home during a conversation I had with my friend Russ the other evening. He mentioned there was a lady he worked with that seemed to bring everyone down. He mentioned having to put up a shield before even talking to this person so that their emotions wouldn’t bring him down. Sadly, we all know someone who seems to be perpetually in a negative state. It is not always that easy to predict emotional challenges. Sometimes it might be a song that really hits you on the radio. Perhaps the sight of dead animal on the side of the road. Often times, we may not even be consciously aware something has affected our spirit, just like the germs we cannot see. It could be a news story that was on in the room as we ate dinner. Maybe a conversation we overheard at work.
Regardless of the source of emotional ills, they are always out there. Just as you need to develop and strengthen your physical immune system daily, we need to put into place daily rituals that strengthen our emotional and spiritual immune system. It is of the utmost urgency that we begin to do this right away. Emotional challenges will affect us everyday. We need to be prepared and protected. Begin to develop your emotional immune system practices today. It can be as simple as reading from a book of faith or subscribing to and reading a positive social media page daily. In this case less in NOT more. Just like your physical immune system, the more you can do to strengthen your emotional and spiritual immune system the better.
Please feel free to leave your suggestions for strengthening your immune systems in the comments below.