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Christmas Cheer

Evidence That Good Moods Prevent Colds 200

duguk writes in with another reason to keep happy over Christmas. A new scientific study suggests that people who frequently experience positive emotions are less likely to catch colds. Psychologist Sheldon Cohen and his colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University interviewed 193 healthy adults daily for two weeks and recorded the positive and negative emotions they had experienced each day. The researchers then exposed the volunteers to a cold or a flu virus. Those with "generally positive outlooks" reported fewer cold symptoms. From the article: "'We need to take more seriously the possibility that a positive emotional style is a major player in disease risk,' Cohen says... Although a positive emotional style bore no relation to whether participants became infected, it protected against the emergence of cold symptoms. For instance, among people infected by the influenza virus... 28 percent who often reported positive emotions developed coughs, congestion, and other cold symptoms, as compared with... 41 percent who rarely reported positive emotions."

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