I’m interested to see in last week’s news that, based upon findings they published last year: “being in a positive mood on the day of your flu jab can increase its protective effect”, Nottingham University are continuing with another piece of research into whether they can harness this to improve the effectiveness of flu vaccinations for older people, who are particularly vulnerable to this virus.
Later this year a group of patients aged 65-85 will have their mood measured, watch 15 minutes of Michael McIntyre (one of my favourite comedians, too BTW) and then have their mood retested. Blood tests will be taken before the jab and four weeks later to see if they have higher antibody responses.
So, could a good laugh help ward off the flu?
I know, for example, when I’m having a pressured and busy day, how much better I feel (and how much clearer I can think and how much more productive I am) after taking just a half hour out to talk with a friend who can see the lighter side or to watch something that makes me laugh, preferably out loud.
And a good belly laugh is a whole-body experience which helps me feel better all round.
I think we tend to associate this capacity – to see the funny side of things, the ridiculousness in life – with a more youthful and resilient approach, too.
Even though in my experience, and perhaps ironically in the context here, this perspective often comes with maturity, life experience and, dare I say, it age…