9 November 2006
Good Mood Fights The 'Flu
A recent study confirms that happiness plays a big part in maintaining good health. The study, published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, says that people who are happy and content can stave off illnesses far easier than those who are down in the dumps.
Carnegie Mellon's Sheldon Cohen revealed that people radiating calmness, exuberance, happiness or any other positive emotion are less likely to become ill after being exposed to an influenza virus. Conversely, Cohen showed that people depressed, anxious, angry or just plain old negative were more likely to fall ill, or develop flu symptoms. If anyone from the happy group did become infected, they exhibited significantly less symptoms than their negative counterparts.
Interestingly, the results hold true regardless of the level of positive feelings, race, education level, gender or weight. "We need to take more seriously the possibility that positive emotional style is a major player in disease risk," says Cohen, a Professor of Psychology.
Source: Carnegie Mellon