Surprising Ways to Boost Your Immune System – Positivity Skills Matter
If you’re like me, you’re concerned about your health and the health of your loved ones more than ever. With the threat of getting COVID, especially if someone has underlying conditions, it’s a critical time to find ways to boost our immune systems.
You may have heard about recommendations to get enough sleep, stay hydrated, eat healthier, and limit alcohol, but here’s some intriguing research that suggests our positivity can also have an impact on our bodies’ immunity. For example, people experiencing loneliness, anger, trauma, and relationship problems have a weaker immune system where infections last longer and wounds take longer to heal.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University looked at loneliness among a group of college freshmen and found that feelings of loneliness and limited social connection negatively impacted their response to a flu vaccine. Other studies measured people’s moods before being exposed to a cold or flu virus. Those with more positive emotions were less likely to catch the bug, and if they did, had less severe symptoms.
But here’s the part that caught my attention. In one study, people were given an intervention, like watching a funny video, before they were exposed to a virus. Those people who were given the happiness boost were less likely to get the cold than those who didn’t have their happiness increased.
My take-away from this research is that even when times are tough, we need to take care of ourselves, find things that bring us peace and joy, and take time to find calm in our stress. Cultivating our positivity skills has never been more important, whether it’s benefiting our health, increasing our quality of life, or being a positive ripple for others.
What actions can you take this week to find some happiness?