Healthy Living: Good mood, good immunity

Flu season has arrived and if it’s anything like what’s happening in other parts of the world, we could be in for a bad one.

Infection rates in Australia this year are 2.5 times higher than last flu season. In the U.S., the flu vaccine is now available and doctors are urging people to get that shot.

A good mood can make you more fun to be around and it can also improve your health in a variety of ways, big and small.

The Mayo Clinic said optimism not only helps you manage stress, it plays a role in cardiovascular health and even makes you more resistant to the common cold.

According to a small study out of the U.K., a positive attitude may also boost the effectiveness of your flu shot.

Researchers with the University of Nottingham examined data from 138 people between the ages of 65 and 85. They all got a dose of the 2014-2015 influenza vaccine.

Scientists took note of several health indicators, like mood, stress levels, negative thoughts, sleep patterns and diet.

They found that participants who reported a more positive mood also had higher levels of antibodies in their blood.

The study’s senior author said there are a variety of factors that can affect how well a vaccine works, but believes the study suggests that mood is one of those factors. The study was published in the journal, "Brain, Behavior and Immunity."

Health officials said this year’s flu strain is predominantly the A Virus, usually responsible for large epidemics. 

Another reason to get your flu shot and make sure you’re in a good mood.

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