Being happy makes your heart healthier!
Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers found that positive psychological well-being appears to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events.
Which means an optimistic outlook could keep your heart healthy!
“The absence of the negative is not the same thing as the presence of the positive. We found that factors such as optimism, life satisfaction, and happiness are associated with reduced risk of CVD regardless of such factors as a person’s age, socioeconomic status, smoking status, or body weight,” said lead author Julia Boehm, research fellow in the Department of Society, Human Development, and Health at HSPH. “For example, the most optimistic individuals had an approximately 50% reduced risk of experiencing an initial cardiovascular event compared to their less optimistic peers,” she said.
How can you be more optimistic?
Optimistic people don’t walk around viewing the world through rose colored glasses, but rather have an outlook that assumes things will work in their favor if given a chance.
One of the ways I feed my optimism is to remind myself to:
Focus on what is possible rather than dwelling on what is difficult.
Oftentimes, life is full of challenges and we get caught up in dealing with the tough stuff – many times things we ultimately can’t change. Stepping back, taking a breath and focusing what is really achievable can allow you to spend energy on the things in which you can find satisfaction.
Of course another great strategy is to Woo Hoo! A Woo Hoo is a simple expression of something positive. You can share a Woo Hoo in person, on the phone, in an email, on Facebook or Twitter – wherever. It’s not bragging, but rather a way of shining a light on the good things in life. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. It could be simply, “Woo Hoo! I got my taxes in on time!” Celebrating the positives in life, big and small, can go a long way in increasing your happiness – and decreasing your risk of heart disease.
Wishing you a happy – and healthy- heart!
Eliz Greene works busy people to improve heart health, so they can work well, feel better, and stress less.
She is a heart attack survivor and the author of the Busy Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Heart as well as 3 other books on wellness. She writes one of the top 50 health and wellness blogs and is a sought-after heart health, stress management, & wellness speaker.
If you are planning a women’s wellness program, workplace wellness program or programs for healthcare professionals check out EmbraceYourHeart.com to see if Eliz would be a good fit with your organization.