Positivity May Be Your Remedy for Cold & Flu Season

According to the National Institute of Health’s website, there are over 1 billion cases of the common cold annually in the United States. And with reports from the FDA about the potential dangers of some popular over-the-counter remedies to shorten the length of one’s cold, what is a poor, sniffling, sneezing person to do to combat their illness?

It turns out, the secret to boosting your immune system may not be in the aisles of Duane Reade, but rather, it may lie in staying positive! Scientists have found that people who are happier show fewer signs of illness when they are sick (Cohen, S., Tyrell, D.A.J., & Smith, A.P., 1991). In their study in 1991, researchers quarantined people who were sick with the common cold virus in a hotel room, and then measured everything from their saliva to the weight of the tissues in which they blew their noses. They discovered that over a seven-day period, the more positive people exhibited fewer symptoms.

So keep a bottle of Purell in hand and a smile on your face this winter if you want to keep that fever and runny nose at bay!
To your health!
Stella Grizont and Amanda Rodhe

 

 

Wanna learn more? Resources:
Cohen, S., Tyrell, D. A. J, & Smith, A. P. (1991). Psychological stress and susceptibility to the common cold. New England Journal of Medicine, 325, pp. 606-612.

Common Cold. Medline Plus: A Service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, NIH (July 4, 2011). http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/commoncold.html

Warnings on Three Zicam Intranasal Zinc Products. FDA’s Consumer Updates Page (June 16, 2009). http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm166931.htm