Get The Last Laugh On Colds
stay healthy? Put on a happy face.
Researchers have found that people who have more
positive emotions, such as happiness and calmness,
have fewer colds than glum people. The finding
appears in a recent issue of Psychosomatic
that people high on positive emotional style were
less likely to develop colds than people who were
low,” says study author, a professor of psychology
at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
really is the best medicine," says psychiatrist of
William Beaumont Hospital in Michigan. "Good mental
health precedes good physical health."
start of the study, 334 volunteers were tested to
make sure none had colds. They were then interviewed
by phone three nights a week for 2 weeks. The
researchers asked them to rate on a scale of 0 to 4
how closely a particular emotion described how they
had felt during the day. The nine positive emotions
were: lively, full of pep, energetic, happy,
pleased, cheerful, at ease, calm and relaxed. The
nine negative emotions were: sad, depressed,
unhappy, on edge, nervous, tense, hostile, resentful
The researchers then averaged the emotions from all of
the interviews. People who scored high on positive
emotions were said to have a positive emotional
style, while people who scored high on negative
emotions had a negative emotional style.
People with positive emotional
style weren't less likely to be infected with the
cold germs. However, they were less likely to show
any symptoms of being ill than people who scored low
in positive emotional style, the researchers say.
last week of the study, the participants were
nasal drops, the researchers placed a virus that
causes the common cold into the volunteers' noses,
and then monitored them for signs of infection and symptoms
of a cold for 5 days.
negative emotional style didn't increase the risk of
getting sick, but these people tended to complain
more symptoms they did have.
researchers also found people with positive
emotional style had better health habits, such as
exercising, eating well and getting enough sleep,
and they had lower levels of three stress hormones.
the researchers controlled for these factors and
still found an association between positive emotions
and fewer cold symptoms. He explains that chemical
mediators, such as histamine and pro-inflammatory
cytokines, are responsible for cold symptoms. And he
suspects positive emotions may dampen the production
of these mediators.
the power of positive thinking keep you healthy?
Maybe, but he cautions that this study couldn't
define if the people who scored high in positive
emotions during this study have always been happy
people, or if they were simply in a good period of
their lives during the research.
He believes people can make
themselves happier. He adds that it's important that
you don't keep your emotions bottled up and that you
take time to do things you enjoy.
emotions do affect our immune responses. If we're
comfortable and happy, then we'll live longer and
6 TIPS TO PREVENT THE COMMON COLD
1. Wash your hands frequently.
2. Don’t smoke.
3. Throw away used tissues immediately.
4. Keep your stress under control.
5. When cleaning, use paper towels instead of cloth
6. Avoid touching your face.