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!

Positively Irritating!

Hi there!

Sorry I haven’t written for a couple of weeks. I wasn’t really sure what to write! I’m guessing that you’d really like news of what life’s like out here but there’s been no major event that’s happened or anything that’s really stood out. I think I’ve been weirdly putting some sort of pressure on myself to come up with something interesting. Something inspiring.



But I did want to keep in touch…so here’s where I’m at: we’ve been here for nine weeks now. (Nine weeks!) I think it might actually be sinking in that we’re not here on holiday, that we’re here to live! And if I’m to be really honest, that feels a little ‘blaaah’ right now. (And it’s not helped by the fact I’ve come up with some strange rash on my face). Weird really, because whilst Big A’s at work and the mini As are at school, I’ve been really loving having my own space…..reading, writing, painting,……bliss! (Or so I thought!)

Perhaps the ‘blaaahness’ it’s because the weather’s getting cooler (by ‘cooler’ I mean it’s been going down into the 80s/30s – ºF/ºC!) Think not! Maybe it’s because the rugby season’s started and, having been such a part of it for the last 9 years or so, we’re now feeling well and truly out of it! Perhaps all our toing and froing this year has finally caught up with me? Or it may just be that we’ve hit the two month mark?

I first heard about this from my biological Mother and pretty much dismissed it at the time. She used to work for the American School system in Istanbul. Her job was to help ‘orientate’ the new English speaking teachers into Turkey. Most of them were initially excited about their new roles and the new culture they’d be living in for the next two years. But at about two months in, when the excitement had waned and it became more the norm, they usually had a wobble! (It was part of her job to be there for them at that point too!)

So perhaps that’s the reason for my flatness right now! Then I hear my lovely friend’s voice saying, “It’s alright for you, Yas. You’re naturally positive.” Am I? Naturally? (I’m not sure!) Though what I am sure about is that I’ve worked hard to get to this place…..and it’s definitely still a consistent work in progress!


All that stuff I do…..journaling, living in the now, gratitude lists etc. that I’ve mentioned in this blog…..are just some of the ways I keep working at it. And it’s all very well writing about me, me, me and us, us, us but it’d feel weird to me if I weren’t giving something back too. So even if one person benefits from all this….then I’m a happy bunny! (And that’s what encouraged me to write today.) But I’m also only just realising that when I’m in that positive place, it can be hugely irritating! (“Change that statement’, I say. “Make it positive!” I say.)  It may be how I try to be but that’s my story…not someone else’s! What I don’t want, however, is to come across as someone who’s life is just perfectly peachy all the time. (We have enough of those types plastered all over the internet!) And the truth is, it ain’t!

So it’s back to the drawing board to see what’s really up, what’s at the heart of this ‘blaaahness’ and this rash and what I can do about it. I’ll write in my journal, for sure, but before I do I’m going to sit in silence for a while and just meditate on it. It somehow penetrates right to the core of me when I do that. And in that place an answer or an idea may ‘pop up’ to help!  (I’ll expand on that more another time!) But for now…


So onwards and through it is!

I’ll be back in touch soon. Promise!

Take care of you!