5 Keys to Developing a Strong Psychological Immune System

Take care of your psychological immune system every day and begin to fill yourself up with positive thoughts, self-worth, new goals and appropriate strategies that improve your self-esteem. It's worth it.
5 Keys to Developing a Strong Psychological Immune System
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

In our articles, we very often talk to you about how you can take care of your immune system every day to deal with viruses, infections and many types of diseases. Now, what if we told you that we all have a psychological immune system?

Experts in behavioral and health sciences, such as Daniel Gilbert at Harvard University, have pointed this out. However, it’s important to clarify a few things.

Your psychological immune system deploys a series of defense mechanisms and strategies as if it were were immune cells. It does this in order for the body to manage stress, anxiety, fears, worries, and so on.

Of course, if there’s one thing we all know, it’s that there are people who tackle life’s difficulties and problems far better off than others.

In fact, they confront life’s problems so well that we sometimes wonder: How are you always optimistic and why don’t you “burnout”?

Yes, there are people who are naturally more resilient and adept at managing adversity. However, you must know that we can all learn to do this.

This is because there are certain mechanisms and strategies that can help us to develop a healthy, strong and dignified “psychological” immune system.
Here’s how.

Simple strategies to promote your psychological immune system

We all have the right to be happy. We also all have the obligation to take care of ourselves. This is something that we must be clear about from the beginning.

We’re in control of our own well-being. Therefore, any strong psychological immune system must be supported by personal responsibility, the ability to make decisions, and the clear will to invest in time and resources in the following aspects.

1. Having high self-esteem is not a sign of selfishness

Admittedly, we’re often reluctant to put our own well-being before certain things and even certain people.

Practicing this daily is exhausting and destructive, and burns us out and takes away from our integrity.

Don’t be afraid to love yourself as much as you deserve. You shouldn’t fear doing this because loving yourself isn’t an act of selfishness. Instead, it’s a strategy to promote psychological well-being.

Read also:

Self-Love 101: How to Love Yourself

2. Think positively: it costs nothing and you get many benefits

Thinking positively doesn’t mean falling into blind self-confidence or stopping yourself from being realistic.

Thinking positive means exploring your abilities so you have confidence in them. In other words, this way of thinking enables us to tell ourselves that we’re capable of many things, that we deserve good things and that we’ll be able to reach our goals.
Anyone who surrenders to defeatism develops a weak psychological immune system. This results in helplessness, dejection, being in a bad mood and believing that you don’t have control of your life.

3. Give life meaning

Woman with a flower hat

Life doesn’t have just one meaning. In fact, we can view it different ways and everything depends on the meaning we want to give it.

Finding this meaning is very important, because it’ll guide us. Essentially, it’ll serve as daily inspiration.

You may want to succeed in the workplace, feel independent or perhaps give the best to your children or aspire to have a comfortable and quiet life with a partner.

Think about it and give life your own meaning.

Don’t miss this article:

7 Ways to Love Your Life

4. Practice detachment

Practicing detachment doesn’t mean locking yourself away from everything and everyone. Instead, detachment means that we shouldn’t be dependent on or slave to anything or anyone, nor forget about our own well-being.

Detachment is to understand that nothing belongs to us and that we ourselves don’t belong to anyone or anything.
Our obligation is to promote the well-being and happiness of everyone, both ourselves and others.

5. Understand what’s a priority and what’s secondary in your life

Remember that what others think of you is secondary. What you think of yourself is a priority. What others expect of you is not important, the essential thing is what you expect of yourself. You shouldn’t care about what other people say you need in order to be happy, what you feel you lack is important.

To conclude, we know that you might already be familiar with these important concepts. However, you have to also understand that if any of these strategies fails, the others will collapse.

This is because when you lack self-esteem it makes you unhealthily become attached to others. You expect them to fill in your gaps and strengthen your weaknesses.

This isn’t the right thing to do. Take care of your psychological immune system every day and begin to fill yourself up with positive thoughts, self-worth, new goals and appropriate strategies that improve your self-esteem.

It’s worth it.
Images courtesy of Kelsey Beckett

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Wilson, T. D., & Gilbert, D. T. (2005). Affective forecasting: Knowing what to want. Current directions in psychological science, 14(3), 131-134.
  • Wilson, T. D., & Gilbert, D. T. (2008). Explaining away: A model of affective adaptation. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3(5), 370-386.
  • Gilbert, D. T., Pinel, E. C., Wilson, T. D., Blumberg, S. J., & Wheatley, T. P. (1998). Immune neglect: a source of durability bias in affective forecasting. Journal of personality and social psychology, 75(3), 617.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.