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My blueprint for a long, healthy life.

11 simple steps to bulletproof your immune system

Dear Friends,

Each of us has a decision to make: whether we want to put in the time and energy to be healthy, or if we're just going to let the chips fall where they may.

Being healthy is a lifestyle choice.

You might get lucky and stay healthy for years without effort, but most Americans end up with diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or other health issues well before they reach old age.

The choice is yours. If you do choose a healthy lifestyle, I won't sugarcoat it – it's a lot of work. However, today I offer you my personal Immunity Builder Program – a system that has worked for me and can work for you too.

Watch the video or read on for the first steps to building a stronger immune system and living a healthier life:

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1. Exercise: Move Your Body, Boost Your Health

Exercise is part of every healthy person's lifestyle. If you're not getting 10,000 steps a day through your work, you need to find a way to incorporate exercise into your routine. Schedule it, do it alone or with friends. Instead of hanging out in bars or restaurants, get together with friends for bike rides, walks, or other active pursuits. Choose friends who are active – if you choose friends who sit around drinking and smoking all day, guess what you'll end up doing?

If you're exercising alone, set a specific time every day. Start with 10 minutes and add two minutes each day. Before you know it, you'll be up to 50 minutes a day. Remember, we're thinking lifestyle here – how can you build this into your daily routine?

2. Nutrition: Fuel Your Body Right

Nutrition is the fuel for your body, and you want the cleanest fuel you can get. Avoid processed foods – if you see a long list of ingredients on a package, put it back on the shelf. Real food doesn't come with a laundry list of additives. Broccoli, kale, peas, beans – they're just themselves.

Use your common sense and read labels. If it has a lot of stuff you can't pronounce, it's probably not supporting your immune system.

Forget soft drinks – they're basically sugared water. Did you know that adding just one soft drink to your daily diet, while keeping everything else the same, can lead to a 45-pound weight gain in three years? Sugar is inflammatory and causes problems in the body. The same goes for most processed carbohydrates. I know, I love bread too – (I could eat a whole loaf in one sitting). But we need to focus on clean, unprocessed foods.

3. Sleep: Create Your Cave

Sleep is crucial for rest and recovery. To get quality sleep, you need to transform your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary. No computers, phones, or TVs in the room. Make it dark, cozy, and cool – like a cave. If street noise is an issue, use earplugs. If you can't make the room completely dark, wear an eye mask.

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4. Abdominal Breathing: Your Anti-Anxiety Superpower

When we get anxious, we tense up and our breathing becomes shallow. Abdominal breathing, also called diaphragmatic breathing, loosens everything up. It's faster than a speeding Valium, I promise you!

How to do it? Practice 30 seconds, four or five times a day, every single day. Watch my video to learn how:

Next time anxiety hits, you'll have a powerful tool to handle it.

Mind Body Health & Politics is a reader-supported publication, where I share the tools and insights I've gathered over my 64-year career. To receive my weekly digest, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

5. Mind Control: Become the Boss of Your Thoughts

Here's a secret: we are the boss of our minds, not the other way around.

The mind is a tool that we get to direct. We tell it what to think, what kind of movies to play. But many of you might be thinking, "That sounds good, but it doesn't work for me. My mind keeps producing ideas and pictures I can't stop."

That just means you haven't developed the skill of mind control yet. Like any skill, it takes practice. Spend a few minutes several times a day telling your mind what to do. Count numbers, make up a story, visualize a color filling your body. It doesn't matter what you tell your mind to do, as long as you're telling it what to do. With practice, you'll become the boss of your thoughts.

6. Purpose: Find Meaning in the Everyday

It's crucial to have a purpose in life, to find something you enjoy doing and find meaningful. And I mean literally anything. Winston Churchill famously built a huge rock wall in his backyard over many years. He also painted. The activity doesn't matter – what matters is that you find it meaningful and enjoyable.

It could be cleaning the house, making your bed, or helping a friend regularly. The key is to decide on your purpose in advance. Wake up knowing what you're going to do that day that gives you a sense of meaning. This positive outlook and sense of purpose contribute significantly to building your immune system.

7. Social Contacts: Nurture Your Tribe

We humans are tribal animals. We love doing things together, whether it's going to ball games, joining sewing circles, or playing sports. But you know what we love most?

Eating together.

Getting together at a table and sharing a meal is deeply satisfying to us as social creatures.

Don't wait for others to reach out – be proactive in maintaining and creating social connections. Go to places where you can meet people. And don't be one of those who say, "They didn't call me, so I'm not going to call them." Reach out.

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8. Weight Control: Lighten Your Load

Weight control is essential. Think of it this way:

If you have six businesses and five are making money while one is losing money year after year, where's that loss coming from? It's draining the winners.

That's the same with excess weight.

Your heart and lungs work hard to pump oxygenated blood throughout your body. But excess weight? It's just dead weight, demanding resources without giving anything back. We don't need that extra insulation anymore - we have modern clothing and heated homes.

Losing weight frees up energy for your immune system.

9. Smoking: Just Don't

If you want to be a “lifestyler” and build a powerful immune system, smoking is a non-starter.

Smoking cuts down your lungs' ability to oxygenate your blood.

It's harmful, period.

Whatever kind of smoke you're taking into your lungs, it's damaging your health.

10. Alcohol: Rethink Your Drink

Alcohol is deeply embedded in our culture. Why?

It disinhibits us. It numbs emotional pain. It's an anesthetic.

But here's the truth: Alcohol is toxic to the human system.

We have tons of reputable scientific evidence proving this.

If you really need to change your consciousness, consider safer alternatives. Marijuana, for instance, is a muscle relaxant at its core, while alcohol is an anesthetic and depressant.

Less is better, but none is best.

11. Vacation: The Art of Truly 'Vacating'

What does vacation mean? To vacate. To let everything else go.

It means being in the now, wherever you are.

Whether you're doing a:

  • Staycation at home

  • Sexcation with your partner

  • Hike-cation in nature

  • Camp-cation in the wilderness

  • Flying vacation to a distant place

The important thing is to take a vacation and leave all the other stuff behind.

I’d like to conclude my Immunity Builder with a story to illustrate:

Two coworkers, Peter and Harry, worked together for 30 years. One day, Peter noticed Harry looked terrible and drove him home.

As they arrived, Harry did something strange - he mimed tying something to a tree outside his house. Inside, Harry was suddenly his happy self again.

The next day, Peter asked about it. Harry explained, "All that stress I was dealing with? I tied it up on the tree. I didn't need to bring it into my home with my family. It was there in the morning, but at least I didn't impose it on my family."

The lesson? You don't need to carry your stress everywhere.

Learn to compartmentalize and enjoy your life. The problems will still be there to deal with later, I assure you.

If you enjoyed this article, please like and subscribe on YouTube - and let me know your strategies for healthy lifestyle in the comments.

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Golden light,

Dr. Richard Louis Miller

My Books:

Mind Body Health & Politics
Mind Body Health & Politics
Dr. Richard Louis Miller is an American Clinical Psychologist, Founder of Wilbur Hot Springs Health Sanctuary, and broadcaster who hosts the Mind Body Health & Politics talk radio program from Mendocino County, California. Dr. Miller was also Founder and chief clinician of the nationally acclaimed, pioneering, Cokenders Alcohol and Drug Program. Dr. Miller’s new book, Psychedelic Medicine, is based on his interviews with the most acclaimed experts on the topic. Mind Body Health & Politics radio broadcast is known for its wide ranging discussions on political issues and health. The program’s format includes guest interviews with prominent national authorities, scientists, best-selling authors, and listener call-ins. The programs offer a forum and soundboard for listeners to interact with the show and its guests. We invite you to listen to the latest broadcasts below or visit our many archived programs. We’d love to hear from you on political and health issues!