Boosting your Immune System is Only a Breath Away
We are in some pretty heavy evolving times! Evolving so quickly that it’s leaving most of us scrambling to keep up with moment-to-moment expectations. Worry and fear are at the root of much of the current experience though it doesn’t have to be. Maintaining a boosted immune system really can be as easy as deep breathing, meditations, and having daily practices that bring calm and joy.
Fear is interesting. We live in a society that gets rich off of fear. Our senses are saturated with it on a daily basis, so much so that we don’t even realize how standard it has become. Our entire economy stays rich by keeping people in fear. From the fun stuff like scary movies and roller coasters to the more personal stuff like the fear of not looking good and fear of not fitting in, and even bigger, the fear of impending doom. All of these fears trigger us to buy stuff, make-up and moisturizers, hair products, designer clothing, and the current summer fad because we wouldn’t want to be on the outside of acceptance. Then there are next-season must-haves so we are kept in purchasing mode at all times, making others rich. We have so much fear in our society that we don’t even realize it because it’s a current norm. We are fearful of losing our house our cars our jobs and our lives so we purchase really big-ticket items (Health insurance, homeowners insurance, car insurance, life insurance, and riders to cover all the in-between) to help us feel safe in the event any of those fears come true. I am certainly not steering you away from purchasing safety nets, not by any means, however, I do want to point out that we have more power over our lives and our health than what is often believed, and people who want to make a lot of money capitalize on these fears greatly.
When something big happens, like our current pandemic, the door flies open to an already deep reservoir of fear, add to that resonating with the fear of the world around us, that is ringing out, and we see people going into a frenzy. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we need not be concerned or need not act with caution…a little bit of fear is not a bad thing in my opinion because it sets off hormones that help to sharpen our focus. When fear kicks in the fight response, It helps us to very quickly see and act upon all the steps to resolution. On a side note, many people are responding with a flight/freeze response and pretending that this pandemic is not really a concern. I do urge those to awaken from this and calmly and with clarity be cautious for the health of their loved ones and the rest of humanity. I do digress, back to my point. Don’t allow fear to simmer within. When our emotions go to anger and fear, our immune system plummets and that is the last thing we need right now.
Our bodies have a direct link to our thoughts and emotions and to our health via the Vagus Nerve. The Vagus Nerve is a massive nerve branch stemming from the base of our brain down into our visceral cavity touching almost every organ in our body including our heart. When the Vagus nerve is strong and tone (referred to as having High Vagal Tone) and is maintained through our actions, it triggers our Parasympathetic Nervous System to release a natural tranquilizer called acetylcholine. We literally feel a calming come over us like a drug when this is released. Choosing to practice actions on a regular basis that tone the Vagus Nerve, allows us to have power over our health both in the moment and over the long term. Research proves that our immune system is improved, our risk for stroke and cardiac disease is reduced, our moods balance out, anxiety is reduced, high blood pressure is lowered, pain is reduced, and much much more. Here is the catch, if you choose to engage in festering fear and anger and hate and other emotions that are not calming, your immune system just plummets. This is the root of the understanding that stress ultimately worsens and/or causes health problems. Getting and keeping a High Vagal Tone is the power you have over your health. It's not the only power but it's a big one.
Practicing activities that calm you and bring you joy, develops a High Vagal Tone. This includes meditation, massage, laughter, yoga, slow and deep breathing, and listening to beautiful sounds, i.e. Sound Therapy, and singing, all things that bring your heart to feel love and joy. As long as these activities bring you peace while practicing them, you are toning the vagus nerve. Now here is the catch, if you are someone who gets really caught up in your head and filled with angst with meditation, though I would recommend continuing the practice to strengthen that skill for so many other reasons, I would also advise you to do another practice that is calming, to ensure you are toning the Vagus Nerve. The daily practice of any variation of these actions manages your health in a very real and rooted way.
I am here to tell you, this life you are living absolutely deserves 20 minutes a day of practice. I know you have that much time, it’s just a matter of prioritizing. You deserve to be well cared for. All the people around you who love and count on you, deserve to be around a well-cared-for friend, spouse, parent, family member, and/or boss. Put down the phone, turn off the tv, step away from the chaos and noise, maintain your massage, add in yoga classes, invest in yourself…invest in your way of being so that your whole being is of benefit, so that during these evolving times you are choosing to evolve.