Immune boosting strategies can’t be overstated for those of us on a journey back to optimal health. Our brilliant bodies are meant to be self-healing after all. We just need to keep them in balance with regular self-love and support!
All ten of the healing factors from the books Radical Remission and Radical Hope by Kelly A. Turner, PhD, are about boosting the immune system. And all those factors have supporting evidence to demonstrate that they really are immune boosting.
Characteristics and Conduct That Suppress
Be sure you dig deep, look at your personality characteristics. If you are someone who suffers from low self-esteem, negative and self-critical thoughts or are in a toxic relationship, get help. All these things suppress the immune system.
You will also want to avoid the negative. Negative people, situations, and places in your life as well as the toxins and pollution that you can control. Think about what you take in, in all forms, not just food and beverages. Look at the input from the world around you and question whether it serves your highest good. If not, eliminate it, or at least drastically reduce it.
Find a Therapist
I believe that every human being on the planet would benefit from therapy and it’s especially important for those of us with a diagnosis. Hearing that news was a trauma after all.
You don’t have to have a high ACES score, a history of abuse or violence, to have experienced trauma. If you had a childhood, you had trauma. Think about the things that you as a child did not understand from the adults and world around you. As children we find coping strategies to deal with what we don’t understand. As adults, we don’t consciously think about those coping strategies…we just let them continue to run. They are on autopilot and we don't question what we believe or why we react the way we do, or why certain behaviors or things trigger us.
Therapy was one of the keys to my healing process…and continues to be. I needed help to realize I was worthy and enough just as I was. I broke out of the trap of seeking external validation for my worthiness. I came to believe in my own God given abilities and talents. I no longer need praise from others…bosses, men, people in authority, to validate me!
Revitalization to Boost and Stimulate
As mentioned, the 10 healing factors are a great place to start with your new immune boosting lifestyle changes. Just remember, there are layers to each factor. Just because you feel you “checked that off” the list at one point doesn’t mean there isn’t more work to do. Life lessons are usually not one and done! Dig deep into your mental, emotional and spiritual life to keep learning and growing.
In addition to exercise, sleep, healthy eating, supplementation and stress management techniques like breathing, yoga, and energy work, boost your immune system with positive emotions, positive people, and things that bring you joy.
Laugh, dance and sing! Play or listen to music! Create in whatever way you find enjoyable – paint, draw, doodle, color, decorate, entertain, thrift, scrapbook, photograph, craft, etc. Create a Joy Squad by recruiting your upbeat friends and family members to send you positive, uplifting, funny things regularly to keep a smile on your face!
Find Your Support
Social Support is also important and certainly worth a deeper look. Not only do we need to learn to receive love and support…we need to learn to ask for it! Most of us are really good at giving to others but not so good at receiving for ourselves. Give up the “I can do it myself” attitude and allow others to help you!
You’ve probably heard that people with cancer that attend support groups live longer, right? Well, not all groups are beneficial to everyone. Find a group of like-minded people that are making healthy lifestyle changes like you. Look for a group that is uplifting and positive. You might find these people at a yoga class, in your hobby group, or at your church. You can also find them at the Health Navigators Virtual Cancer Wellness Community of Thrivers!
You may have also heard that “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with”. Get your people on board with your healthy new lifestyle! Encourage them to adopt the immune-boosting and health-promoting lifestyle choices you are making. If they aren’t interested don’t lecture or badger them. Let your improved health speak for itself. Just know that you may find your friend group changing a little. You may choose not to go out drinking or eating the way you used to so finding people that enjoy what you enjoy now might be something you have to face.
Give Yourself Grace
All of this will take time. Allow yourself the grace to make mistakes and to start again. Know that small changes over time can make a big difference. And please, don’t stress about the 10%! If you are living the healthiest you know how to live now, then don’t sweat the parts that may still need more work. Look at the big picture. Did you do your best this week? Did you mostly eat the healthy food you want to eat? Did you move your body as much or more this week than last, or as much as you were able given the circumstances?
Grace. Allow yourself grace. Once you are working toward getting your body back in balance then the healing can begin!
How are you finding balance and increasing positive emotions? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
In peace, love and health,