- Lack of sleep: This suppresses your immune system as much as any stress, and reduces your body’s ability to regenerate. Produces inflammation. Aggravates heart disease.
- Sugary and processed foods: (They also confuse your hormonal system). The worst source of sugar is in sweet juices, like orange or apple juice, since they have even more sugar than soft drinks.
- Toxins: Such as chemical food additives, pesticides and other poisons allowed in our diets.
- Arguing especially with someone you care about.
- Stress, fear, anger, worry: All the negative emotions wear down your immune system. Even guilt has an effect. Holding these feelings for the long term can degrade and wear out your immune system so that you catch sick easily, or are subject to diseases like cancer. When these emotions leave you feeling tired or worn out, this can be largely the effect of your immune system being diminished.Even watching television or movies, or playing video games that stimulate fear, anxiety, rage, a feeling of being trapped, or other negative emotions will affect your immune system, and the effect will not stop when you walk out of the theater. A study was done comparing the effects of watching different kinds of television. While watching a movie that produced fear and anxiety, immune cells disappeared from the blood of the watchers. No delay. While watching a “feel-good” movie, immune cells appeared, as though by magic. Laughter lifts the immune system a great deal.The discovery that our thoughts have such a huge impact on the immune system has spawned a new branch of science, psychoneuroimmunology.
- GMO foods (Genetically Modified Organisms): GMO foods are very new, and were not well studied for safety, but every time we turn around we hear of new studies revealing horrible effects of eating them. We suggest you AVOID THEM ALL. So far these businesses creating these foods have defeated laws that would require GMO labeling, but you are safe if you buy certified organic food.
- Simple stress or rushing: Especially without time to rest and regenerate. Stop. Breathe. Give yourself a chance to feel.
- Stimulants: Don’t rely on a pill or a cup of coffee to prop you up whenever you feel weak. That approach eventually falls apart and can hurt you, because stimulating yourself without giving yourself what you really need weakens your immune system.
- Electronics: Time in front of video screens (cell phones, televisions, computer screens, video games), close to electronic equipment, or close to electric power cables. Limit your exposure to computer wireless signals, such as turning off your wireless when you sleep or use a grounding pad. Especially avoid lingering anywhere close to transformers on electrical power lines (that look like little metal garbage cans on telephone poles), high tension wires, nuclear power plants, etc.
- Recreational drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol: Any amount has an effect. Repeated use increases the effect. If you are trying to recover from illness, avoid these completely.
- Dairy foods or foods containing milk, cream, butter (though ghee is okay instead of butter). While this may not actually weaken your system, most adults are more prone to getting colds when they eat dairy foods, since those foods crate congestion by generating lots of mucus, and eating them makes it harder to get over a cold.
The things on this list not only reduce your vitality day to day, but especially should be avoided if you are recovering from an illness. If any of these things continue in your life, your immune system can become worn down, stunted, suppressed. In fact, most people in modern urban or suburban life probably have diminished immune systems. To solve this problem you may need to change your lifestyle or your frame of mine. You may need to grieve a loss that you have not truly accepted. You may need to change a job.
And pay attention to rebuilding the immune system. One of the byproducts of our fast pace, highly electronic culture is disconnection from our body’s rhythms, from the basics that make us feel good. The things above are all stresses that make you more likely to get sick, but they also confuse your natural inner knowledge of what you need and want. As a child we all naturally gravitate toward those things that make us laugh and have fun. These things help us. The negative things push you away from being able to find them.
Every step you take toward improving your immune system will help draw you back to the fundamental rhythms and health of your body. In our modern life, we sometimes need to step away and find our natural rhythms again. Does eliminating all these things seem like an impossible change? Try starting with just a few of the items on the list and observe any changes you experience. Do you feel better the next day? The next week?