Walking into the doctor's office with the right mindset sends signals to your body.
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Receiving an annual flu shot can be a gamble. It might work, or might not — and many people opt out altogether — but a recent study suggests that if you’re in a good mood when you receive it, the shot is more likely to be effective.
The recent study comes from the University of Nottingham, where researchers set out to study links between psychological health and immunization effectiveness.The team tested 138 adults between the ages of 65 to 85, checking physical activity, positive and negative affect, stress, and sleep for each subject. They also required each participant complete a mood questionnaire on the day of the vaccination.
The researchers found that, of all these factors, only one was predictive of increased antibody levels: positive mood. They wrote, “We found that greater positive mood, whether measured repeatedly over a 6-week period around vaccination, or on the day of vaccination, significantly predicted greater antibody responses to influenza vaccination.”
Though this study can’t definitively state the existence of a causal link, there is previous research also supporting this hypothesis, and researchers say this study is a great foundation for further research. Either way, before your next flu shot, try to put yourself in a good mood (just in case)!
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