Scientists have long known that people who are chronically angry, anxious or depressed have a higher risk of heart attacks. A new study shows, the opposite type of being upbeat and optimistic may help protect against heart disease.
Rather than focusing only on how to lessen heart risks, "it might
also be useful to focus on how we might bolster the positive side of
things," said a lead researcher from the Harvard School of Public
They reviewed dozens of studies examining a positive outlook on
heart health. A number of studies found the most optimistic people
had half the risk of a first heart attack when compared to the least
optimistic. People with a better sense of well-being tend to have
healthier blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight, and are more
likely to exercise, eat healthier, and get enough sleep.
Results cautioned that it will take more research to identify if a
positive outlook makes people feel more like taking heart-healthy
steps, or whether living healthier helps you feel more positive. So
the researchers are still not sure if it is 'be happy be healthy' or
'be healthy be happy'. They do know stress associated with negative
psychological traits can lead to damage of arteries and the heart.
Other research found that asking people to smile helps put them in a
better mood. Many of my books will make you smile and put you in
a better mood. Pick up a few and we will both be happy and
healthy. A bonus is that if you at least have a Happy
Friday you will be one seventh more healthy.