Optimism Boosts Your Immune System
Yes, having a 'glass half-full' attitude can do more than just boost your mood and the moods of others around you. According to new research, being optimistic can also strengthen the immune system.
The study, which tracked changes in optimism and immune response among first-year law students, found that as students became more optimistic, they showed stronger cell-mediated immunity, the flood of immune cells that respond to an invasion by foreign viruses or bacteria. When optimism dropped, so did cell-mediated immunity. Previous studies have established the connection between the psychological and the physical. Everything from marital spats to job stress can delay healing and promote disease. But previous research on optimism and the immune system has mostly compared optimists with pessimists, leaving open the possibility that other factors, like genetics and personality,could affect immune function.