Mindset = Immunity
That’s right. The strength of your immunity is directly proportional to the strength of your mindset.
Note: By now, you know I don’t do your homework for you. BUT, I will tell you that this is all relative to cytokines. Cytokines are related to your stress levels. You can do a deep-ish dive with Dr. Ronesh Sinha, if you like. You can access a very accessible article he wrote on Mark Sisson’s Daily Apple site. There. (Imagine me dusting my hands off. Ha!)
Here’s the deal, sweet friends. You don’t have to believe in progress. You don’t have to believe in science. You don’t have to believe that most general practitioners of general medicine cannot possibly keep up with advancements in health and science when their caseloads are overflowing and the only post-med school “education” they’re getting is from pharmaceutical representatives. As I fancy saying from time to time, you don’t have to do jack.
But, IF you fancy the idea of thriving – or perhaps even just living – through this pandemic and beyond, you may wish to devote a brain cell or two toward your mindset.
First, let’s address the word. Mindset. If this seems an obvious one to you, please just entertain this sidebar.
As an anecdote, in my time spent with high-performing college students I observed a great many through the years who did not have a clear understanding of “critical thinking”. This is curious because a great deal of focus has been spent on teaching critical thinking skills to secondary students over the past fifteen years, in particular. In short, I have found that there are so many common words and phrases (like “critical thinking” and “mindset”) that fly around us each day, but frequency of use does not denote comprehension.
Ok. Mindset. Oxford expresses it as an “established set of attitudes held by someone.” I rather like this because at first glance you might think it’s a singular state of being. You know, that you have one mindset and that’s it. Like a master key. I like that, too. Ultimately, this is what I go with; the master key interpretation. But to get there, it’s important to look at your “set” of attitudes. And your attitude relates to what you think about something. Also, HOW you think about it.
Let’s break it down.
Coupled with Oxford’s label of “attitude”, I like to add a dash of “mood” in there. So, in keeping things simple, which I find helps lots of people:
Mindset = Mood + Attitude
Now, before we set “Immunity” equal to “Mindset”, we need to demonstrate that mood and attitude have a direct effect on health; immunity in particular.
Drawing from your life experience, do a quick survey in your mind of the people you’ve known. This can be family members, friends, sweethearts, neighbors, you know…associates. Now, pluck out the members of this memory bank who you recall as being sick on a more or less regular basis. Sickness can range from a cold all the way to frequent mental instability, with a spectrum of aches and pains in between.
Ask yourself these questions:
- During the course of your relationship, did the person experience illness the entire time or was there an isolated period of difficulty with health?
- How would you characterize the person’s general mood and/or attitude?
- Do you have a clear perspective on which may have come first?
I am suggesting that the people in our lives who have maintained a positive mood and attitude are generally healthier than those who have a more doomsday disposition.
The obvious question that arises from this theory is which came first, the tendency toward sickness or the bad mood/attitude? One might venture that the bad mood/attitude arose as a result of feeling terrible all the time.
And in fairness, the follow-up venture might be that feeling terrible all the time results from pessimism.
Perhaps one of the only ways to check this theory would be to carefully observe those with optimism at the forefront of their personality.
Simmer on this if you must – if you are truly skeptical of the merit of this supposition. And, I repeat myself, you don’t have to do jack. You can go about your life in the same manner you’ve always gone about it – ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE CONTENT AND/OR FREE FROM ANY SORT OF SUFFERING. Also, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE NO DESIRE FOR YOUR LIFE TO CHANGE. That’s just as valid.
If you cannot characterize yourself as content and/or free from any sort of suffering (whether you’ve resigned yourself to this condition or not) then you could entertain the idea of trying a better mood/attitude. You know, if you may be even the least bit curious.
But HOW?! Especially if you feel your life sucks!
Through reckless abandon, that’s how. If you’re a “life sucks” person than you seriously have NOTHING to lose. If you’re hesitating, that means you value something. Take it or leave it.
If you go through your day, every day, incessantly bitching about everything you hear, touch, see, smell, and taste (anything over 50%), then what in the hell do you have to lose? Seriously. Just try to sun up. That’s right. Sun up. See what happens. What and to whom are you trying to prove the merits of your mood and attitude? Yourself? Others? Is it working?
You’re living to PROVE or you’re living to LIVE or you’re living to DIE, in which case a strong immune system likely means nothing to you. Super! That means you’ve made your mind up and you’re sticking to it. Ciao!
And for those of you who are inclined to agree with the observation that optimism (mood/attitude) breeds better health, then get to it. Practice it yourself, observe the outcomes of others, and read up on actual scientific evidence by reading more than one source and perhaps make one of those sources an academic journal and/or Google Scholar searches. Search cytokines or search stress on positive and negative mental health…search anything! Curiosity is healthy.
I guess the bottom line question in my mind is, “What in the hell are you living for?”
Now, to derive the final (theoretical) equation:
Mindset = Mood + Attitude
Mood + Attitude = Immunity (robustness of health)
Mindset = Immunity
Geez. I sure hope so.
Cheer up. Or not. Your health will follow your lead.