For many people, listening to music or chatting about the weather helps them relax while getting a shot. But could being in a good mood actually make your flu shot work better? A recent study from the University of Nottingham suggests it just might.

The researchers studied how different factors like physical activity, diet, sleep and mood impacted the flu shot’s effectiveness over two weeks following their vaccination. Surprisingly, the people who reported being upbeat the day of the shot had higher levels of the flu antibody — the stuff that protects you from the flu.

Experts remind us that this study showed an association between being in a good mood and the flu shot being more effective, but that more studies would be needed to show if there is a direct cause and effect relationship. However, we do know for sure that doing something relaxing to boost your mood before or during your flu shot can help to relax  you — making for a less painful and more positive experience.

Some of us feel silly admitting it, but about 40 percent of adults experience a fear of needles. You can divert your attention from the shot and boost your mood with these tips:

  • Listen to music before or during your shot
  • Bring a favorite book to read while you wait
  • Think about why you want to get the flu shot in the first place

So, why should you get a flu shot?

  • It’s one of the best ways to prevent getting the flu
  • Your flu shot protects not only you, but those around you
  • If you get sick, you could infect others with weaker immune systems like the elderly or children

Looking for a fun way to boost your mood before your flu shot? Stop by Adventist HealthCare’s Pop-up Health event on Tuesday, Oct. 10 from 4-7 p.m. in Downtown Silver Spring for a FREE flu shot while listening to fun music from our Zumba class! Learn more by clicking below.