How Our Emotions Affect Our Immunity

So I’ve succumbed to the horrid flu virus that’s going around. To be honest I’d been feeling a little smug believing I wouldn’t get it. I can’t remember the last time I’d had flu as my immunity was good – mainly because of my continued diet of eliminating gluten, dairy and sugar for the past 30 years. I do have the odd bit every now and then but I do predominantly stay off them.

But then Christmas came and I had a little mince pie. It was SO good I had to have another. Then I found myself eating and drinking all sorts of things I normally wouldn’t…..cheese, brandy butter, christmas pud, wine……you get the picture.

And my immunity weakened.

I also stopped meditating and journaling. When I’m staying with others I find it’s not always so easy to maintain my practice. Meditating actually boosts your immune system (read more about that here). And journalling is a great way to dump/express what’s on your mind and in your heart.

And so my immunity lowered even further.

But the thing that really cinched its final crash was the often overlooked but very important link with our emotions. Yes, our emotions affect our immunity. I’ve certainly learnt this through my own life experiences but now there’s a great deal of scientific proof out there to back it up. (This book is a great place to start. ) According to mind-body teacher Debbie Shapiro, flu sends a clear message that ‘time out’ is needed from something that’s having a strong influence on you. (Interestingly, the world influenza means ‘to come under the influence of’.) So, what was I so strongly coming under the influence of?

Well, you know we said goodbye to Angus on Tuesday for a few more months. And I felt very heavy hearted as I watched my family hugging each other in tears. But there was nothing I could do about it. It was all out of my control. Yet something very deep and very strong arouse from within me. I’d known these feelings before. Many times before. I’d had to say goodbye to my mother at a young age as I was whisked off to live with my father. And I cried my little eyes out for what seemed like hours. There was nothing I could do about it. It was out of my control. Then I had to leave my father to live with my grandparents in another country. I didn’t understand why. But there was nothing I could do about it. It was out of my control. My grandfather sadly collapsed and died. It meant I had to move to another family in another country. And there was nothing I could do about it. It was out of my control. My father sometimes came to visit us. But it never seemed long enough. And he always left (via the airport). And each time I was devastated. But there was nothing I could do about it. It was out of my control. Seeing my own children hugging their father at the airport in absolute tears brought all these memories and all those emotions up for me. And there was nothing I could do about it. It was out of my control.

That was the day I fell ill!

I have worked through so much of my childhood but this was one aspect I hadn’t directly approached before. Yet my body was retaining those memories which a similar emotion at the airport had triggered. I’ve learnt this is the body’s way of saying it’s time for that area of our life to be addressed. So it took some forced ‘time out’ to slow things down and allow me to absorb, adjust, rebalance (and heal) accordingly.

I share this with you to highlight the very important connection between our emotions and our health. If memories or emotions are triggered like this, please don’t ignore them. If you do or you push them back down, they’ll only come up stronger elsewhere in another way. (A bit like trying to push an inflatable ball underwater!) Please listen to your body and find someone like me who can help you work through it. Believe me, your future health will thank you!

Here’s to a healthy 2018!

2 thoughts on “How Our Emotions Affect Our Immunity

  1. Yas, your post was really touching, in many ways. Thank you for sharing it with us. And I hope Angus is back home with you soon. Sending lots of love. x


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