Remaining positive can help you to maintain a robust immune system. Fear, anxiety, and depression can reduce immunity, alter your hormone balance, and mess with your ability to enjoy deep, healing sleep. It’s easy to go down the spiral of despair in response to information about COVID-19 or to struggle to stay positive when you have taken the responsible step of self isolating. But work with your body by choosing to remain positive because research shows positivity boosts immunity.
Working with your body to mount a robust immune response
Now is the time to get as healthy as you can be. Your level of health, regardless of the medical conditions you may be working with, is a choice.
You can influence how your body responds to health issues by the foods you choose to eat (a wide variety of colourful foods), whether you move your body each day, whether you practise focused relaxation and the state of mind you choose to adopt. See things as they are but not worse than they are.
Changing how you feel
I know it can be hard, when you’re in the middle of it. The last thing you want to hear is some well-intentioned person telling you to cheer up. But how you respond to a challenge, or how you feel about a situation is a choice. If you are dealing with something in your external environment, like a pandemic, how you choose to respond to that situation won’t change the overall outcome but it will help you to be well.
Here are 3 ways you can change how you are feeling
Change your face by losing the frown and smiling. Researchers have found that the act of smiling triggers a feedback loop to your brain. Your brain notes that you have lifted your cheek muscles and concludes that you are happy about something. Smiling releases neuropeptides responsible for increasing our resilience to stress. Smiling also triggers the release of the happiness neurotransmitters —dopamine, endorphins and serotonin.
Stack your emotions
Keep a folder in the photos section of your phone which has photos of your favourite places, people, holidays or whatever floats your boat. Now set an alarm in your phone but instead of calling it alarm, call it, how am I feeling right now?
When the alarm goes off, stop and notice how you are feeling. Do you need to dial up the positivity? Reach for your phone, look at the photos and allow yourself to feel how you felt when you were there. Really build on those emotions and let them flood through your body.
Feel good herbs
Personally, I’m a fan of saffron for boosting mood. It improves the memory and helps you adapt to stress. There’s great research in relation to it helping to reduce anxiety and depression.
Another feel good favourite is rose. The herb in times of grief, but also a natural pick me up when times are tough. Just the sweet smell of rose lifts the spirits and lightens the heart.
Here’s a relaxing bedtime drink that will calm the mind and lift the spirits.
Combine a couple of tablespoons of rosewater, with a pinch of saffron and a couple of crushed green cardomon pods. Simmer in your milk of choice for 5-minutes, strain, and sip before bed.