Can your attitude help you live longer? According to a study just released in Circulation,the Journal of the American Heart Association, women who are optimistic live longer than pessimists!
Good news! (Yep, count me as an optimist!)
According to the study:
Optimistic women had a 9% lower risk of developing heart disease and a 14% lower risk of dying from any cause after more than eight years of follow-up.
In comparison, cynical women who harbored hostile thoughts about others or were generally mistrusting of others were 16% more likely to die over the same time-scale.
So, what’s the deal here?
It turns out women with positive outlooks on life tend to exercise more, eat better, stress less, and generally take better care of themselves. Which makes sense.
Also, women with positive outlooks tend to deal with adversity better.
Researcher believe harboring guilt, anger and hostile feelings can damage your health and make it more likely you will engage in poor habits such as smoking or overeating.
So, how is your outlook?
Find out with this Optimism Test and help Dr. Suzanne Segerstrom, PhD conduct research on personality and immunity.
How do you improve your outlook? As my father used to say, behave, believe, become!
Behave as if you are an optimist. Start to say things like: “I’m really looking forward to this weekend. I think it will be fun!” Choose to do positive things for yourself like eating well and exercising. Disengage from activities and people who drag you down and surround yourself with people who are positive. Give yourself credit for what you do today and stop dwelling on the past. Life is not about perfection. It’s about moving in the right direction. Behave your way down the path to a positive outlook.
Believe your behavior and thoughts can change the way you feel. They can. If you believe you are worth laughter and smiles – you will be. Remember even the darkest times are followed by light. Believe the sun will come out again.
Become the optimist you want to be. Like any habit, filling your head with positive thoughts takes daily practice. When negative thoughts creep in, step back and think it through. The “what if” analysis works. What if I mess this up? What is the worst thing that can happen? What is the best thing that can happen? What is most likely to happen? Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst and be happy with something in the middle.
Here are some other tips for positive attitudes:
How to be more optimistic
Benefits of positive female friendship
Small solutions to biggest problems
How do you stay positive?
Leave a comment below and share your ideas.
Get more valuable information in Eliz’s new book, The Busy Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Heart, or in her Award Winning Blog.
Eliz Greene survived a massive heart attack while seven-months pregnant with twins, struggled to lose the 80 pounds gained during her pregnancy, and searched for a way to hold on to the perspective and passion she found in her near-death experience. Drawing on her background as an adaptive movement specialist, Eliz developed simple strategies and tips to help other busy women be more active, eat better and manage your stress.
As the Director of the Embrace Your Heart Wellness Initiative, Eliz travels the country energizing and inspiring audiences in keynotes and workshops on women’s heart health. She writes one of the top 100 health and wellness blogs. Find more at www.EmbraceYourHeart.com.
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