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Don't Worry, Be Happy, and Get Less Colds

From the Center for the Advancement of Health comes a July 23, 2003 article published on InteliHealth, that in accordance with research conducted recently, those who are energetic, happy and relaxed are not as likely to catch colds, while those who are depressed, nervous or angry are more inclined to complain about cold symptoms.

Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., of Carnegie Mellon University and colleagues, writing in the July issue of Psychosomatic Medicine noted that of those in his study participants who had a positive emotional style weren't infected as frequently and experienced fewer symptoms in comparison to people with a negative emotional style.

Cohen's research team interviewed 334 healthy volunteers three evenings per week for two weeks to assess their emotional states. The volunteers described that they felt on that day in three positive-emotion areas: vigor, well-being and calm. These folks were also questioned about three kinds of negative feelings: depression, anxiety and hostility. After their assessment, each volunteer got a squirt in the nose of a rhinovirus, the virus that triggers most frequent colds. The researchers kept the subjects under observation for five days to see whether or not they became infected and how they manifested symptoms.

"We discovered that experiencing positive emotions was connected with greater resistance to developing a common cold," Dr. Cohen reports. Strangely enough, further analysis of this study revealed that good health practices and lower levels of certain hormones did not account for the link between positive emotional style and illness. So, if you want to avoid cold just follow the advice of the famous song, "Don't Worry, Be Happy".

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