Keeping a Healthy Immune System

Keeping a Healthy Immune System

We learn so many great things from our horses… boundaries, bravery, how to be very clear in what we ask, love, compassion, but one thing we all know about horses is they have the fight-or-flight reflex.

In humans this reflex is called the sympathetic nervous system. This is one habit I don’t want anyone to practice in these uncertain times. In fact I want you to practice mastering the opposite of that and tap into your parasympathetic nervous system. This way, when things do get back to normal, (oh and they will), you will be so much better at handling the day to day stresses. Stay with me for just a moment, because I want to talk to you about how this actually affecting your body.

The difference between sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system is that the sympathetic nervous system functions to mobilize the body’s fight-or-flight response while parasympathetic nervous system functions to control the ability to maintain internal stability in the body to compensate for environmental changes.

Training your body to tap into the parasympathetic nervous system on a biologic level is so important because when you are in a sympathetic state you are preparing to run, so your body is pushing your blood away from all of the major organs and into your heart and external limbs so your able to run away. This does not help your immune system to work at its optimal health and you will pump your body full of cortisol and burn out your adrenals. (I know this from experience!) This causes your body to not be able to digest your foods properly, and everything becomes constricted.

However, the moment you tap into your parasympathetic nervous system you begin to relax, you expand, your more open, and on a biochemical level you start to produce hormones that are really good for your immune system and help it to run at its optimal health.

The sympathetic nervous system doesn’t know the difference between real or imagined. It just notices danger. So it’s super important to focus on the positive goin on right now!!!

I don’t know about you, but today I had my windows open and all I heard was birds, and kids laughing, riding their bikes outside, and I heard the word dad so often it actually made me smile! I think I have seen my neighbors out and active more in the last 3 days than I have in the 3 years I have been here. I love it! I love that we are all checking on each other, we are all coming together. It’s a beautiful thing in this uncertain circumstance.

A couple of ways that help me to tap into my parasympathetic nervous system is to start my day with gratitude. When you are thankful for even the little things it brings you joy and focuses you on the positive. I am very grateful that this circumstance is allowing me to slow down and do the things I tend to put off like self care, grounding, sitting out in the sun, riding my horse, spending more quality time with my kiddo’s. I have even gotten a few projects done around the house that have been on the back burner for quite some time.

We can totally find the joy in the everyday! And it’s good for the soul. We're all in this together and that is a comforting thought. Love that so many are using this opportunity to add more good into the world.

Thank you for letting me share why it's so important to learn to relax…

So let’s be like this horse and rise above this circumstance, get our hooves out in the grass and learn to graze, bask in the sun and relax, not panic and go buy all the toilet paper people…

Back to blog