Fight Infection With These Immune-Boosting Secrets

For those with rheumatoid arthritis, getting sick may be a cause for concern. Here’s how to boost your immune system and fend off illness. 

Kathleen Engel
More Sharing +

Go “offline.”
Dr. Sternberg recommends taking daily “mini-vacations” to reboot the immune system. “Find a place of peace where you can stop, look and listen—and try to go there every day,” she says. That doesn’t mean you have to go outside, either. Take a mental getaway by visualizing a favorite place, like the beach or mountains, and immersing yourself in the details: the smell of fresh pine, the sound of ocean waves crashing or the feeling of sun on your skin. Not a great daydreamer? Look at photos from a happy time and spend a few minutes reminiscing about why it was so enjoyable.
Why it works: Meditating on anything you find peaceful can help reduce stress hormones that weaken the immune system’s ability to fight infection. “Chronic stress has been shown to prolong wound healing, decrease response to vaccines, and increase the frequency and severity of upper respiratory infections,” says Dr. Sternberg.     

April 2013