Negotiate a Boost to Your Immune System

Can you negotiate a boost to your immune system? Many would scoff at the idea. Surely our immune systems are improved (or not) through scientific methods. It’s not something we can negotiate. I invite you to reconsider and reframe the scope of negotiation. Our first and most important negotiation is with ourselves. When we get intentional about negotiation our mindset, we can improve our lives in every way. Boosting our immune systems is no exception. 

In my interview with Robin Nielson, founder of Natural Hormone Solutions, she shared some powerful tips on how to boost your immune system. In the wake of COVID, with our heightened awareness about the importance of healthy body defences, I thought I’d share her insights. 

Did you know you can grow younger no matter what your age? During times where health has been more discussed more than ever before, healthy habits and natural solutions to developing a healthy immune system is as important as it gets.

When you think of boosting your immune system, the first thing you might think of is “how many nutrients can I take?” or “how can I boost my immune system fast?” The truth is, the biggest immune system suppressors are deep-rooted habits and parts of your lifestyle that you might not even be aware of. 

That leads to a core element of boosting your immune system: addressing your stressors, the deep-rooted bad habits or negative aspects of your life that you might not even recognize. You can negotiate powerful new habits. It’s important to start prioritizing things that are good for yourself and to eliminate the things in your life that don’t serve you and end up stressing you out.

Addressing these stressors will pose as a challenge; so, it’s important to start practicing an attitude of gratitude. Being thankful and dismissing stress hormones will steer your mind and body away from its ‘fight-or-flight’ mode, which will in turn boost your immune system. But how do you practice being in a state of attitude of gratitude?

You can simply keep a gratitude journal. The use of this journal can be as simple as listing 3-5 things you’re grateful for each day. A good time for this is right before bed, and it’s important that you think of something new, rather than using the same gratitude(s) every day. This trains your brain to look for what’s right in the world, as the human brain naturally wants to directly go to what’s wrong. As humans we’re wired to stay alive – always looking for what’s wrong, so we can run. 

What are some more tools you can use? Another simple, but game-changing option is opposition thinking. When a negative thought comes to mind, turn it around into a positive thought: simply think the opposite. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t get angry or judge yourself for thinking negatively. Those conditioned knee-jerk responses are hard-wired and the immediate reaction is out of your control. You do, however, have control over what you do with the thought. 

It's important to keep these ways of maintaining gratitude a habit for effective results. So, what happens when we express gratitude consistently? You’ll improve sleep, simply through expressing gratitude and turning negative emotions into positive ones. Sleep is a key component for the immune system – like protective armour for your body. Sleep will completely restore and rejuvenate your immunity to viruses, bacteria, etc. – so when you’re against something hurtful, your body is much more resilient. With less sleep, your body will be like a sitting duck waiting to get sick. Being happier, motivated, determined, and having more attention are other important benefits from practicing gratitude in your life.

How you sleep is the other half of the effort. It’s important to get restorative sleep – which means getting unmedicated sleep (meaning no sleep drug/aid). Getting 5 cycles of REM and deep sleep puts you in that restorative state. Unfortunately, sleep medications keep you in deep sleep, skipping the REM cycles that are a great factor in obtaining restorative sleep. Having a consistent sleep schedule and eliminating distractions (no phone in the bedroom) will be great factors in ensuring you will get the sleep that your body needs. While getting your 7 hours of sleep will make you very immune-protected, it is still strongly recommended that you get your 8 essential hours. You’ll feel great and have maximum immune system protection.  

Diet is another key component for keeping a hormone balance that will greatly affect your immune system. It’s important to eat a high protein breakfast within an hour of waking up. What you’re eating and when you’re eating is very important to keeping a balanced diet. Eating 3 meals a day with 4-6 hours in-between is the most effective way to being and feeling balanced. Timing is very crucial: with no eating after 7 PM, and at least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. This is so we leave the body to restore and heal during this downtime.

Alongside diet, you’re going to want to make sure you’re nutrient efficient. Nutrient deficiency can be a large part of why your immune system may be compromised. Some examples might be low iron, low zinc, low vitamin D, low B-12 levels, and especially low magnesium. Magnesium is very immune protective, and it can be seen as an epidemic with how many people are magnesium deficient and don’t even realize it.

You may have noticed that much of this recipe for an improved immune system comes down to your habits. The beauty is that you can negotiate your habits. Get intentional in each of these simple suggested habits and you’ll be well on your way to a radically improved body defence system, so next time your body faces a virus or bacteria, you’ll be fully prepared to fight. 

 Check out the full podcast interview with Robin Nielson, here
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Tags

attitude of gratitude, healthy habits, immune system, negotiate your habits, opposition thinking, restorative sleep, stressors


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