Don't Worry, Be Happy For Your Heart Health
Are you a pessimist? Do you only point out the negative while overlooking the positive? Well, it may not only make you cantankerous, but you may be putting put yourself at greater risk for a cardiovascular event.
Scientists have known for a while that stress, anxiety and anger are detrimental to physical health. But Harvard researchers now believe that feeling good about your overall well-being and being optimistic is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
The study was the largest ever done on the impact of psychological health on the heart.
However, scientists can't say that happiness and optimism directly protects health. (It could be that people who exercise regularly, don't smoke and practice other healthy behaviors are just happier anyway).
And just this week, another study by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston concluded that "the risk of having a heart attack was 21 times higher in the 24 hours following the loss of loved one, compared to other times."
Too many times, people will internalize grief or refuse help with funeral preparations and other family arrangements following a loved one's death. While no one can control this life-changing event, this report shows that seeking emotional support during a time of sorrow is critical.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. It is typically attributed to hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, an inactive lifestyle, poor diet, smoking or obesity. About 2,200 people die each day from a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke.
So what does all of this mean? At best, it means it won't hurt to accentuate the positive, keep the faith, or stop and smell the roses.
So have a hearty laugh, count your blessings and learn how to be healthier -- physically and emotionally. It just might save your heart.
Abstract about link between cardiovascular health and positive psychological outlook: tinyurl.com/