Optimism has been time and again linked to better health. A Journal of Aging Research paper reported that optimistic behavior could lower the risk of cardiovascular mortality. Another study published recently in the National Academy of Sciences journal found that optimism can increase your lifespan.
Now a new research work adds more evidence to the health benefits of being optimistic. It says that people who are more optimistic have better cardiovascular health. The JAMA Open Network journal published this report. You see, optimism has a positive effect on your physical, psychological, and emotional well-being. On the contrary, the effect of pessimism is the opposite.
Researchers Dig Into Optimism’s Influence On The Heart
For the purpose of this study, the team of scientists analyzed data from 15 previous studies. The participant count totaled to 230,000. These studies noted the results of optimism on psychological and physiological health for a term of two to 40 years. Some focused on cardiovascular health in particular while others noted mortality from any cause.
The studies measured optimism by asking various questions or with statements. Scientists employed different strategies for the measurement of optimistic behavior. Researchers noticed a pattern in most of the studies. They mostly concluded that those who were more optimistic had better heart health. They found that optimism lowered heart disease risk by 35% and the risk of early death by 14%.
How Does Optimism Improve Heart Health?
There are several mechanisms, both physical and behavioral, that link optimism to better heart health. People who are more optimistic tend to eat healthier, exercise more, and even care for themselves. Those who are pessimistic have higher inflammation markers, poorer blood vessel functioning, higher blood pressure, etc. Furthermore, being more optimistic means less stress and lower risk of anxiety and depression.
How To Be More Optimistic?
Optimism is not a switch that you can turn off and on. The quality is deeply ingrained and determined by genetic and environmental factors. While there may not be a technique to increase optimism, there are ways to decrease pessimism. These include going for therapy, finding a purpose, being thankful, journaling, and the like.
The team said, “the present findings concerning the cardiac benefits of optimism might encourage studies on whether similar benefits can be derived from instilling other positive mindsets that may be elicited through guided interventions.” If you are not optimistic, don’t fret. There are several traits of optimistic people that can be learned.
Optimism shares a link with better heart health. A new study has further solidified this by finding that the more optimistic a person, the better his heart health. You see, optimistic people have healthier lifestyles whereas pessimistic individuals have poor physical health factors. However, you can decrease pessimism through therapy and practicing traits of optimistic people.