Optimism Linked to Better Heart Health
Brighter Outlooks Associated with Cardiac Wellness
Being upbeat helps heart health, reports a new review of research from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Analyzing dozens of studies on psychological well-being involving hundreds of thousands of people, the researchers found that the most optimistic people are more likely to kick a smoking habit, exercise regularly and favor fruits and vegetables over processed meat and sugary foods.
Mindfulness programs such as meditation, yoga or tai chi can help enhance optimism by reducing anxiety and stress while boosting quality of life, say the study authors. The researchers also highlighted a 2017 study that found that women in the top quarter of optimism were 40 percent less likely to die from heart disease.
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This article appears in the January 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings.