There are many factors that can affect the functionality of our immune systems. Most of us know that the right diet and physical exercise will have a positive impact. Mindfulness is something that we may not consider. Fortunately, there is a lot of scientific study in this area and we are seeing some very interesting benefits for the immune system from mindful practices that reduce stress.
Left side activation
A study by the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, found significant increases in left-sided anterior activation, a pattern previously associated with positive affect, in the meditators compared with the nonmeditators. They also found significant increases in antibody titers to influenza vaccine among subjects in the meditation compared with those in the wait-list control group.
Increases in antibodies means more power being exerted from the immune system offering improved health and less chance of infection.
Another study using a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, found that it reduced the subject’s propensity to loneliness and it also lowered related pro-inflammatory gene expression in older adults. This type of gene expression directly affects immune function and risk of chronic disease.
Cut down stress
In short, it appears that we can all benefit physically and mentally from reducing our stress levels. Mindfulness could be a key ingredient to help us win the battle.