Suffering from a fear of creepy crawlies doesn’t seem like a positive thing, but it could be helping protect you from getting sick, new research suggests.
A person’s behaviors can be linked to their immune system and help fight off illness, according to a study by researchers at British Columbia University.
Recoiling from a fear, such as spiders, is associated with a mechanism called the ‘behavioural immune system.’ This system is stimulated when it senses unwelcome objects through sight, sound, touch and smell, which causes the body to react and avoid contact with them before they reach our bodies.
According to the researchers the behavioral immune system works alongside the body’s infection-fighting immune system to fight off illness and disease. The researchers found that even looking at images of infectious diseases caused an increase in immune system function.
So next time you jump a foot in the air trying to avoid an unwelcome arachnid visitor you’re actually kick-starting a process that helps protect your body and amps up your infection-fighting function.