A positive outlook on life may help keep your heart healthy
Optimism, life satisfaction and happiness can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 50 per cent, according to research at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).
Optimism not only reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems, but also slows down the progression of the disease according to the review of over 200 studies.
‘The most optimistic individuals had an approximate 50 per cent reduced risk of experiencing an initial cardiovascular event compared to their less optimistic peers,’ says lead author Julia Boehm from HSPH.
Individuals with a positive outlook were also more likely to engage in health conscious behaviour such as exercising, eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep.
‘These findings suggest that an emphasis on bolstering psychological strengths rather than simply mitigating psychological deficits may improve cardiovascular health,’ says senior author Laura Kuzbansky.