Scientists who have tracked outlook and immune system of 124 students over a year have found that when people feel more optimistic they have stronger responses to immune challenges.
Professor Suzanne Segerstrom said, ‘I think that when people are feeling optimistic about a specific, important challenge they are facing, they may be less vulnerable to certain health problems, like viral infections.’
Segerstrom, a psychologist from the University of Kentucky believes positive emotions caused by an optimistic attitude were likely to cause the boost.
During the study participants were asked questions to determine levels of optimism before a harmless substance was injected under their skin to trigger an immune response.
The immune response caused a bump which could be measured by researchers to determine the strength of the immune system. It was found as the levels of optimism rose and fell so did immunity.