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Why Optimism Leads to a Healthier Heart

Why Optimism Leads to a Healthier Heart

If you’ve always been one of those “glass half full” kind of people than you are most likely enjoying good heart health as well. A new study suggests people who have an optimistic outlook on life tend be in better cardiovascular health than pessimists.

Time reports about the study from the University of Illinois that researched the physical and mental health as well as the positive and negative outlooks of more than 5,000 people. The participants ranged in age from 45 to 84 and researchers found that those with a more optimistic outlook on life had much healthier blood pressure and body mass index (bmi) overall than those who tend to have a more pessimistic view on things.

It makes sense that those who think more positively are in better heart health because they probably don’t stress out over daily hardships as much as their pessimistic counterparts. The American Heart Association warns about how stress can contribute to heart disease. Dr. Ernesto L. Schiffrin is quoted on the AHA website explaining, “When stress is excessive, it can contribute to everything from high blood pressure, also called hypertension, to asthma to ulcers to irritable bowel syndrome.”

Researchers involved in the study explain how beneficial a positive attitude can be for your health. Lead study author Rosalba Hernandez says, “Individuals with the highest levels of optimism have twice the odds of being in ideal cardiovascular health compared to their more pessimistic counterparts. This association remains significant, even after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics and poor mental health.”

What do you think of the study that suggests optimists enjoy better heart health?

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Do you think your attitude affects your health?
 

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