Shoring up Your Wellness Defenses by Banishing the Enemy.

There is plenty of advice about improving our health and shoring up the immune system. We can eat well, we can take herbs and supplements and we can decrease our toxin loads through avoidance of pollution, consumption and detoxing the body. However, the biggest enemy to our immune system is rarely talked about. Perhaps because it's seen as so hard to avoid in the world we live in today.

Stress!

It's literally a killer.

”Some experts claim that stress is responsible for as much as 90% of all illnesses and diseases, including cancer and heart disease.”

While stress in the short term, triggering cortisol release as part of our flight or fight response, can be a good thing, prolonged stress and tension takes a high toll on our immune system. Yet this is precisely the situation we're facing today as fear and tension seeps in from every direction. Fear of the getting sick from a virus where we hear about deaths daily via the media. Fear of freedoms being removed, threats of mandatory tracking and vaccinations which have had no long term testing. Cabin fever and the removal of the social interactions which normally keep us sane. Many have been forced out of work and don't know if that job will be there when this comes to an end.

So when this does come to an end and we start to come into contact with many more people again, what kind of vulnerable state will our immune systems be in? One that invites every pathogen in?

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How can you centre yourself and learn to deal with stress? I don't think there is any one answer for everyone and likely the causes of stress are different for everyone. Some people meditate and one could say that meditation takes different forms for each individual, which don't necessarily look like what we might perceive as the traditional methods. For example it could be achieved through crafting, cooking, gardening, or whatever other interests calm and centre you.

It's worth remembering that even those who seem to be amazing at not letting stress get to them, still experience it; they have just found ways which work for them to handle it. So when it feels like there is no way that you will be able to remove stress from your life, realise that it's not so much a removal process as a redirection process and with time and practice it will become easier.

Our biggest hurdle for overcoming stress is likely fear and there is nothing like the threat of death or incarceration to trigger that. When it comes to death it's inevitable, so not exactly a fear we can escape by any method. The only ways to not have it looming over our lives constantly is to ignore it for the most part (what most of us do if we're entirely honest) or face the fact that it is inevitable and accept that when our time comes it comes (then ignore it..) For those trying to ignore it, having the media and pretty much everyone around them continually bringing up the presence of a potentially deadly disease is going to have their blood pressure up constantly, especially every time they remember why they aren't supposed to be going out. If that's you, just know that you are doing all you can to protect yourself and you are reducing your risk. Those who care about you are likely also doing all they can to keep you safe. If your social media is only raising your anxiety by discussing people they think are putting others at risk by ignoring the advice, then perhaps mute that part and just keep the positive people in your feeds. You don't need to let fear mongering be in your life and you deserve not to have it in your life.

Then there are those who would rather accept the risk of death than be cooped up, but you risk arrest or fines by going out. For some, all of the above things, cause anxiety, including the risk of death. However, there is more to freedom than just freedom of the body and you can free your mind while your body is captive. Albert Woodfox is living proof of that. This man was kept in solitary confinement for nearly 45 years, which is the longest of anyone. He survived it with his mind intact because he refused to lose his freedom in his mind. There will always those who try to exert power over you, but you don't have to give them that power.

Ultimately, you need to find a way to control what you can in your life and relinquish what is outside of your control. Your body can't take care of you if you are always fighting an internal war.

~○♤○~

This is my response to the @naturalmedicine After the Virus challenge

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Wow, this blew my mind.
The fact that you attached the story of Albert Woodfox was incredible. I didn't know that story. I read the article and it's so enriching to see how a person can, indeed, stay positive and mentally healthy in that situation.

When this quarantine started, I was so afraid. We had 0.0$ dollars at the moment and, suddenly, the very first day of lock-down, we sold some medicine and it gave us money to survive for a month. I was terrified for not being able to have food to give my baby. We didn't have much water less either. So I understand how stress and fear can knock you down in a second.

But to read the story of that mind reminds me how we ALL have we strength in us; we just need to accept the fact that things are gonna change and the change might not be what we want. But yes, we can not only survive but take every situation as advantage to grow. To grow healthy, to grow free, to grow in peace with life's circumstances.

I also have the privilege to have a lot of people like that in my mind, as Abuelo Rufino, chaman from the Amazonian Venezuelan Jungle. He's one of my anchors. When I feel weak, shaking and lost, I think of those anchors and remember myself that I can as well. That we all can. That everything passes even if we believe it won't. And that all is well.

This truly was a beautiful piece. I'm sorry if I got too crazy with the keyboard hahahaha

No need to apologise! Always wonderful to read responses, especially when more can be added to the topic. Everyone's experiences in this quarantine are different and it brings different challenges and fears for us all. Venezuela was already experiencing challenging times before hand, so this must only be adding to that. My thoughts are with you and I hope you continue to try to find positives where you can.

Yes, Venezuela is been crazy right now with this quarantine, tho it's nothing that haven't happened before, so it's weird. Chaos is the normal there.
I'm Venezuelan but migrated to Colombia when I got pregnant since you cannot find pregnancy vitamins, children antibiotics, diapers and a lot of stuff there! But my family and a lot of friends remain there and, indeed, these are difficult times.

Great advice! Having two of our children risking exposure every day due to their jobs, one in X-ray and the other being a Cat Scan tech, we remind ourselves that they are well protected as they have all of the gear they need when examining patients that are being treated for the coronavirus. They are both smart, healthy, and young.
We talk to them daily and are assured that they are doing good.
We focus on the duties that they perform, in an attempt to help others, in spite of the risks, and that makes us proud.
Focusing on the dark side of the position they are in would be such a burden, therefore we remind ourselves how lucky we all are to have so many compassionate healthcare workers willing to risk their own well being in an attempt to get this whole mess squared away.

It's often the way that there are more positives than negatives in life, but it's so easy get overwhelmed by the negatives and forget everything else. Glad you're all focusing on the positives.

Health workers never get any easy ride at the best of times. Glad to hear they're coping well and hopefully taking care of themselves as well as others.

Man, it's the one thing in my life that causes the most problems. For me exercise, writing, and music are my forms against it. It's so easy for me to get tunnel vision (locked at the moment) and miss the big picture. I know living in the moment is the zen way to ascend stress but for me, I get stuck in it and worry about everything at once. Chickens sure do help though;)

I held an upper-level government job for a few years and social media was strongly discouraged. I'm thankful for that I have been FB free since and HIVE is much less stress for me anyway.

Sending you peaceful vibes and virtual hugs. Thanks for a nice health reminder. I needed it! 😁

Thats a good point. Living in the moment is okay if the moment is a good one, I guess.

I probably don't use music enough. Since having children, I've stopped because I felt I needed to be able to hear everything fully incase I was needed. Maybe I should invest in a speaker for my mp3 player.

Some people believe death is the ultimate disease to be cured. I think death is just an inevitable state and aging is really a disease. At best we could be like the elves from lord of the rings -- live a long time, but ultimately get stressed/sick or head cutoff and die...well it's game over! haha.

Would you even want to live forever? Something I often wonder about. I guess if you were the only one living for ages, then you definitely wouldn't want to go on indefinitely while losing those you care about. But if we all were elves? 🤔

The aging process is certainly also off putting for a long life as you are less and less able to do things. My friend's grandmother is 104 (I think, definitely over 100) and while she's being card for by her daughter, there is so might she struggles with now and is ready for death. It's not that she's particularly unhappy, either.

No life, without death.... I think the vampire thing attracts most people, stay healthy and beautiful without the aging.

Have you read Anne Rice's vampire chronicles? Very much the quintessential vampires that we might wish to be.

Talking of reading, will we ever get the conclusion to your story?

haha not sure.... I started writing some new ones though, also my spelling and stuff isn't very good ~~ maybe I drop them in a post - - basically a collection of short stories based in various fantasy settings....I really need an editor or something to clean the English, else I feel a bit embarrassed

I wouldn't mind giving editing a go. I'd get to read all your stories first. 😁

Well I had a bit of a left field...different idea, might be able to broaden a bit and include other Malls ballers even. Let me get back to you, appreciate the offer though to edit, will need it to work :)

Great article i see that you look at the issue of lockdown from different angles and that´s the same thing that happen to me. I have been very cautious about going outside since 6 weeks, but know i need sun light, talking with my friends, and walking around a bit (with my mask of course). I think that we need to search the center of the situation between being in house and also go outside to reduce stress, make jogging and breathe the air. Congratulations for your article and yes we need to be free inside and also outside from my point of view, and understand that we need to go to normalization as sooner as we can so the inmue system can go up! Cheers✌️

You have so nailed it here!! Nice one.

I have always loved Victor Frankl's book for all the same reasons - how he survived the atrocities of the Shoah through the power of his mind and imagination. Fear is simply imagination misused, and so it's up to use to regain our power by choosing our thoughts.

I especially loved your last line, "Your body can't take care of you if you're always fighting an internal war."

I will have to look Victor up. These people are real inspirations.

Thank you as always for your thoughtful comments.

It is totally life affirming, despite seeming to be a depressing story. It gave me joy.

#posh

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@porters here on behalf of @NaturalMedicine – I'm a big believer in changing what you can and accepting what you can't and not to stress about it! Wonderfully written and I hope it helps to alleviate some stresses for folks! Thanks for sharing!

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