Lifetime Experiences and Their Effects on Our Health

March 2, 2020
Andrea Livingston, Communications Team

What is the relationship between our mind and our immune system? Do major life experiences have an effect on our health?

These are just a few of the questions that researchers within the field of Psychoimmunology, or the study of the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems of the human body, have been studying for over 40 years. This research has led scientists to acknowledge that the nervous and immune systems are “components of an integrated system… and that immunoregulatory processes can no longer be studied as an independent activity…” This major paradigm shift in how we view the immune system promises us both a better understanding of our own health and a new appreciation of the mind-body connection.

Want to go deeper?
Join us for a free
Noetic Global Gathering

Exploring Lifetime Experiences and their Effects on Our Health
presented by
Helané Wahbeh, ND, MCR
IONS Director of Research

Monday, March 16
11:00 am – 12:30pm (Pacific)

So what does that mean for our life experiences and how they affect our health? Creating your own personal health map helps you identify triggers that could potentially negatively impact your health as well as see the positive factors that make you feel vibrant and healthy! Below is an exercise that will give you an opportunity to record vital information about your lifetime experiences and your health history on a timeline.

Timeline Health Map Overview

This exercise should take about 15-30 minutes.

Below is an example of a completed timeline to give you a sense of what yours might look like when you have completed the process. Please note that unlike the example below you can add both negative and positive health and life experiences to your map.

Health Map

Step 1: Preparation

Gather the following items:

  • Markers, pen, or pencil
  • Several sheets of paper (8-½ x 11” or larger)

Step 2: Draw a Time/Life-Line

Draw a line horizontally across the page and start with age 0 (when you were born) on the far left and your current age on the far right. You may want to create marks on the timeline denoting different ages throughout your life.

Step 3: Enter Lifetime and Health Events

In this step, you will put your important life and health experiences in chronological order of your age on the timeline.

Draw a short vertical line on your timeline for each of the key events that you feel impacted you (lifetime and health) – allowing ample space between events so that you can write in details.

  • As on the timeline example above, you can place your health events above the timeline and your lifetime events below the timeline.
  • Allow ample space as recording one event can activate a memory of another.
  • Please note that unlike the example above, you can add both negative and positive health and life experiences to your map.
Step 4: Reflect!

Now, take a step back and reflect on your timeline experiences, are there any events that you feel impacted your life the most?

Are there any events that you feel reduced your vitality in some way? (What we mean by vitality is feeling strong, vibrant, energized, and positively engaged in your life.)

Are there any events that you feel increased your vitality in some way?

Have you experienced a positive outcome from an event that didn’t seem positive at the time you experienced it? (This can also be referred to as post traumatic growth.)

There are no wrong answers! This mapping exercise may help give you insight into how your life experiences and states of mind may interact with your health and well being.

If you’d like to take the inquiry deeper, join us on March 16th, from 11:00am – 12:30pm Pacific, for a live Noetic Global Gathering with Dr. Helané Wahbeh, IONS Director of Research, where she will review how emotional, spiritual, and energetic experiences might influence our health. She will also present the exciting results of the Lifetime Experiences in Women with Breast Cancer study. Register here for free.

Ader R. (2000). On the development of psychoneuroimmunology. European journal of pharmacology, 405(1-3), 167–176.

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