Emotions & Immunity

Jamie J. Alexander on June 3, 2020

Mood elevation boosts the immune system. Many studies have shown that experiencing negative moods several times per day for extended periods of time raises the levels of inflammation biomarkers in blood. This increased inflammation is correlated with immune system suppression.

During this uncertain period of Coronavirus, experts recommend we all maintain frequent social contact with others, even if it is from a distance and that we proactively work at elevating our moods through activities that have been proven to be effective.

What elevates your moods?

We are not all alike when it comes to what raises the positivity of our emotions. So, thinking about what elevates your moods is a first step. Proactively pursuing those activities is the second.

Some Proven Effective Immune Boosting Activities

Laughter: Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. Finding online humor may make you laugh, and family game time works well for many others. Remembering past adventures and events with extended family members and distant friends over the phone usually results in reasons to laugh together. Read More

Exercise: In addition to keeping you in shape and helping you become healthier over time, exercise boosts your immune system and helps your body fight off harmful diseases. For some of us, long walks, bicycling and at-home workouts are choices of preference. For others, it may be dancing to music, mowing the lawn, or doing a household “deep” spring cleaning. As you increase the number of ways you exercise, the variety tends to increase the pleasure. So be creative and keep moving. Read More

Music: A 2019 review in the journal Annual Research & Review in Biology, indicates that both performing and listening to music can have a significant impact on the immune system. Spend time with your favorite music. Read More

Meditation: Meditation, in its many forms, has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, and even to improve immunity. Do you practice yoga just to stretch? Add minutes of focused breathing and body awareness. Add minutes of focused thought on positive transformations and outcomes. Read More

Creative Art: Drawing, painting, molding objects from clay, woodworking and other construction, music composition, sewing, cooking…the list goes on and on. Creatively making something has been scientifically proven to help people to deal with different kinds of trauma and boost the immune system. Read More

Gardening: Gardening is another proven activity to boost emotions and the immune system. Just getting outside amongst green and growing plants is one aspect of yard work and gardening that is both soothing and uplifting. Working outside is a form of exercise to destress. And, if you combine some creativity to your pruning and planting, the creative aspect will also elevate your spirits. Read More

Helping Others: Even when you are sheltering in place during COVID19, you can emotionally support others by reaching with your voice, text messages, and emails. You can contribute grocery items and money to foundations helping those in need. You can sew face masks for those in your community who need them. You can offer to do essential shopping and essential errands for an elderly neighbor. You can safely weed their landscape bed for them. You can FaceTime to assist distant grandchildren with their home schooling and keep them positively occupied with creative arts, imaginative play, and storytelling. Offering help distracts us from our own problems and boredom. Helping others and doing meaningful activities promotes a rush of endorphins in the brain. These positive emotions boost the immune system. Read More

Hugging: Being hugged by a trusted person conveys support and increasing the number of times you hug your family members is an effective means to reduce stress and support your and their immune systems. See a neighbor while you are out walking? Give them a virtual hug from a safe distance by asking how they are doing. This will show you care, and that sign of caring will help elevate their mood as well as your own. Read More