Pandemic 2020: Same Storm. Different Journey.

 

I am a believer that life is all about the journey. Yes, we are all going through the same horrible storm right now, but we are not all on the same journey. We may not agree about how we got here, who’s at fault, or most importantly how to fix it, but for the first time in history (at least, in my lifetime) on this I think we all agree: This pandemic situation really sucks.

What your experience will be like as you go through this nightmare will depend entirely upon your perspective. And your perspective will be different than another’s perspective because yours was created by your life experience, just as their perspective was created by their life experience. We haven’t traveled the same roads throughout our respective journeys, so we have picked up different tools that we use to process and survive various things.

Although I consider myself an expert in a few areas, this pandemic situation is definitely not one of them. So what I am trying to do here is simply offer some ideas that might lead to solutions and advisors that will resonate with you. 

The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.

We are being offered lots of external defense solutions like wearing masks and social distancing. And of course those are important, however external defenses rely on variables that involve others which makes them risky, such as if we are wearing masks and/or social distancing and others are not. But I haven’t heard much discussion regarding our powerful internal defense which is our immune system. This internal defense system is something we can control because unlike the external defenses, it is not dependent upon what others may or may not be doing.

We know that our immune system can be impacted by external things such as what we eat and how well we care for our bodies. But equally important is how well we care for our minds. Let me give you an example:

Many of us take great care when it comes to what we allow into our body by way of foods we consume. For example: organic only, no sweets, vegetarian, low fat, high protein, etc. So it’s very common for us to be mindful of that, to the point that we would never walk into a restaurant, sit down, and say to the waiter: “I don’t need a menu. Just bring me whatever you want me to eat and I’ll eat it.”  Yet when it comes to what we allow into our mind, most of us just turn on TV news or log into social media and consume whatever is presented to us. And whether you know it or not, this can be a major source of stress. Especially right now.

Sometimes it’s better to be happy than to be right.

Let’s consider what stress actually does to your immune system. As I said, I’m no expert on this topic but I have studied it a lot. As I mentioned above, life experience will lead you down all sorts of paths in your life’s journey, and losing my mother at a young age certainly set me on a path to explore matters of health. I am not suggesting that you should believe as I do, but I am encouraging you to research this topic yourself. To get you started, here are a couple of examples of what you’ll find with a quick internet search on the topic of “stress and the immune system”:

  • The immune system is a collection of billions of cells that travel through the bloodstream.  They move in and out of tissues and organs, defending the body against foreign bodies (antigens), such as bacteria, viruses and cancerous cells. When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections. (SimplyPsychology.org)
  • From 1982 through 1992, these pioneer researchers studied medical students. Among other things, they found that the students’ immunity went down every year under the simple stress of the three-day exam period. Test takers had fewer natural killer cells, which fight tumors and viral infections. (American Psychological Association)

 

Now that I have pointed out how important it is to control levels of stress in your life, you probably want to know how to do that? I will give you some ideas in my next blog. 

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