It’s a known fact: the more healthy and positive you are mentally, the more healthy your body is physically. More and more research is supporting the idea that mood actually does affect the human immune system.
Studies have shown that chronic depression, stress, or negative emotions, grudges and attitudes can damage the body physically. This is because the brain is naturally linked to the stress hormone cortisol, which, when elevated for a long time, suppresses the immune system, puts the body more at risk for illness, and extends the time it takes to heal and recover from injury or illness.
On the other hand, feelings of happiness and relaxation reduce cortisol levels, thus allowing the immune system to function properly and effectively. So how can you change a negative mood and boost your immune system at the same time? Here are a few suggestions to help you maintain a state of mental positivity and physical health.
1. Get a regular massage and listen to soothing music. A relaxing massage can do wonders for lowering stress levels, and soothing instrumental music calms the mind, as well.
2. Learn a new skill. Stimulating the brain in a way that promotes learning builds confidence and also promotes brain health. Try picking up a new sport or taking a class in something that interests you. Not only will it take your mind off the stress, but you’ll feel good about learning something new.
3. Take a yoga or tai chi class. Not only will yoga and tai chi help keep you physically active and fit, but it can improve your flexibility and mental focus.
4. Meditate. Daily meditation calms the mind and can help give you insight to the root of the stress in your mind. When you feel at peace with yourself, you are naturally happier with life and have a more positive outlook on the world.
5. Spend time with friends and family doing activities you enjoy. Sometimes, one of the best ways to take your mind off of things is to let it all go and do the things you enjoy. Find out what makes you happy, and invite someone to join you, whether it’s a trip to the movies, a walk in the park or at the beach, or a trip out to the lake for some fishing. You’ll be amazed what some fresh air and a carefree attitude can do for the mind.