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!

New School, New Semester, New Habit.

Hi there!

I hope this finds you well!

I just firstly need to declare that I’m very proud of my two scallywags! They went off to their new schools ever so bravely last Monday. (Unlike me, the mess!) I wanted to get on that bus with them, see where they sat and who they spoke to, if anyone. I wanted be a fly on the wall in their classrooms, ring them throughout the day to ask if they were ok and watch how others treated them. I wished they’d make friends easily, hoped they’d like their teachers (and that their teachers would like them!), wondered how they’d cope with being back in a school environment (after having been out of one for so long) and just that everyone would be really nice! Despite having spent the last six months with the children and really, REALLY looking forward to having time to myself, I watched the clock all of that first day wondering what they’d be doing at that moment! I then waited at the window in the afternoon watching out for the school bus, just so eager for their return!! (Crazy woman!)

They came back really chilled, “Yeah, had a good day”. Right. Ok. That’s good. (Phew!)

Anyway, I decided that if A&A were starting something new then I would start something new too! That and the fact a cold sore decided to appear (meaning low immunity and emotional stress!) It was definitely time to get back on top! So I returned to an old habit: LEMON WATER!

Why? There are soooooo many good reasons: it reduces inflammation, cuts through phlegm, aids digestion, boosts energy, helps the immune system work at its best (yay!), assists in reducing colds and viruses (!) and decreases “bad” cholesterol. Plus, and probably most importantly, it helps avoid the accumulation of acid waste in our bodies. (Acid waste?!) Yup! So how can acidic lemons help get rid of acid waste? Well, though lemon juice outside are body is acidic, once we’ve drunk it and it’s inside our body, it quite brilliantly becomes alkaline-forming.  So why is it so important for us to be less acidic? Because in the long-term a permanently acidic state can damage our normal cell structures and functions, which in turn can cause a whole heap of nasty health issues. And we don’t want that! So, as Hippocrates said:

Let food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be food

But it’s not just our diets that affect our acidity levels. Lack of exercise, repressed emotions and ciggies can all make us waaaaay too acidic. Emotional stress plays its part too (like moving house…and country!) by releasing acid-forming hormones into our system. (By the way – some of the things I’ve brought up in previous posts are great little tools for any DIY ‘working through emotional stuff’ kit.)

So, from here on in, I’m definitely adopting a daily lemon water habit! If you fancy joining me……I just squeeze the juice of 1/4 lemon into lukewarm, filtered water and drink it every morning before breakfast. Then I take great pleasure in knowing that all those lovely cells of mine are being drenched in alkalinity!


One little habit…..one mighty detox!

That’s it for now! Take good care!

Until next time…..!

Yx

Let It All Out!

Hi there! Welcome back!

Thanks so much for the lovely comments I’ve received on here, Facebook and private messages. They’ve really inspired, encouraged and spurred me on to write some more! I was initially soooo tentative about putting my words ‘out there’ because I kept telling myself I wasn’t a proper writer! But bashing that thought around in my journal made me realise that, actually, I AM! It may not be well known but I’ve been writing for over thirty years (albeit to myself)!

I don’t write every day and I don’t list what I ate for breakfast (!) but I do use it to express, express, express! Express what? Well, all sorts of things…..my thoughts, feelings, mulling ideas over, problem solving, reflecting on inspiring stuff, getting to the bottom of why things push my buttons, dream analysis or just a frustrated…..

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Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that journaling helps me feel happier, calmer, clearer-headed and focused on the present. I recently read about Dr James Pennebaker, a professor of Psychology at The University of Texas (of all places!), whose research has shown that ‘writing about emotional experiences can have tangible health benefits’.  Better health too? Even more reason to write, write, write!

As you can imagine, this move to Houston has been coming up in my journal quite a lot over the past few months! The latest is we’re at the final stage of the immigration process (yay!).  Angus has an interview at the US embassy in London on 30th July when they’ll give him a defintie ‘yay’ or ‘nay’! (Why wouldn’t they give him the visa, right?!) I’ll report back on that soon after but if you have a spare, positive, thought for us on the day (1pm to be precise) then please do send it over!

In the meantime, we’re enjoying being here…….now!

Oh yes….nearly forgot! If you fancy getting notifications via email when I post something new…..then please just click the ‘Follow’ button to the right and below. I didn’t know to add that particular little ‘widget’ to my last post…..ooops! Learning as I go!

Bye for now

Yx

One last thing……someone asked it I’d mind if a friend of hers read this blog. I said of course I didn’t! If someone doesn’t know us and reads this it’s still a story…..and if it can inspire along the way, then all the better! So please feel free to pass on to a friend if you think they’d be interested!