Monday, April 4, 2011

Optimism and Heart Disease

Got heart disease? Look on the bright side; it could save your life. Optimism in heart patients is linked to better survival. Would it kill you to smile? Never! But could it kill you to not? A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine suggests that heart patients’ outcomes may be connected to their outlook. The study, which tracked nearly 3,000 patients, found that those who believed they would make a full recovery fared better than those who weren’t so optimistic. Does that mean that developing a positive outlook just might help you become more resilient and help your body heal better? More research is needed to tell for sure, but the evidence is encouraging. Past studies have shown that looking on the bright side of life may boost the immune system, while a pessimistic attitude depresses it. What we do know is that negative emotions like pessimism and hopelessness can make people less likely to take care of themselves — which, in turn, can lead to worse health. Take a moment or two to practice positive thinking by reflecting on the good things that happen to you each day.

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