Eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and taking your vitamins can all help give your immune system a boost—something everyone can benefit from in today’s world. But there are also some healthy lifestyle practices that can be of help, too.
In a webinar for Ten Spot, Sabrina Sarabella, a wellness expert and business coach, shared that one of the best ways to better your immune system is to keep your stress levels as low as possible. “The more stressed you are, the more your cortisol is raised, and the more your immune system is weakened,” she says. “You want to maintain a way of life that helps you manage stress. We’ll never get away from stress, so the key is managing it.”
There are a handful of healthy lifestyle practices she recommends using that will help you do just that. Here are the best ones to start with.
5 Healthy Lifestyle Practices for a Stronger Immune System
It’s time to get back in touch with your imagination. Visualization is a known way to help relieve stress, and it’s simple to do. Sarabella recommends lying in bed before getting up for the day and visualizing what you want your day to look like. Also, visualize what you want to accomplish. Essentially a guided meditation, it sets you up for a more relaxed and stress-free day.
Speaking of meditation, you don’t need to meditate for an hour a day in order to reap the stress-relieving benefits. “Meditating is really about letting your mind rest for a little while. Meditation helps lower stress, lowers blood pressure, and lowers your heart rate—all things that can be counterintuitive to immune-boosting.” According to the Cleveland Clinic, even a daily one-minute mindfulness meditation can keep you feeling your best
Saying mantras over and over again can be very beneficial in fighting off stress. “High-stress situations lower your immune system. We want to make sure our mind is in the right place,” says Sarabella. “Positive mantras keep you feeling calm and grounded when you’re feeling anxious and fearful.” For example, you could repeat “My body is healthy. My mind is at ease.” over and over again. Or, whatever makes you feel good.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you can decrease stress by simply using your breath. Instead of sitting with your stress and storing it in your body, breathing allows you to release that negative energy, greatly benefiting your health in the process. “Taking a few moments throughout the day to just sit and find your breath can be very calming and relaxing,” says Sarabella.
Using affirmations is one of the easiest ways to bring a healthy dose of positivity—and stress relief!—into your life. “We want to make sure we’re talking positively to ourselves,” Sarabella says. “Positive self-talk is the act of practicing positive thinking and self-empowerment and repeating positive mantras out loud repetitively.” The more you say these affirmations, the more you start to truly believe them.