Looking at the bright side of life, you could reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke by more than a third, according to a study.
Thousands of people around the world were analyzed by scientists who also found that optimistic people are also 14 percent less likely to die early from whatever cause.
Researchers believe that people with positive thoughts are more motivated to exercise and have a good diet to protect their health.
They can also cope better with stress and anxiety, which can put pressure on the heart and cause inflammation.
Looking at the bright side of life, you could reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke by more than a third, according to a study by American researchers
The team at Mount Sinai St. Luke & # 39; s Hospital, New York, believes that interventions that encourage positive thoughts can be used to improve health.
Lead author Professor Alan Rozanski said: & The findings suggest that a mentality of optimism is associated with a lower cardiovascular risk and promotion of optimism and reduction in pessimism may be important for preventive health. & # 39;
Professor Rozanski, a cardiologist, said that stress, depression and loneliness have been associated with cardiovascular disease.
Although a sense of well-being lowers risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.
He said: & # 39; Specific mindsets, common thinking patterns that influence the views and interactions of individuals have also been associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease. & # 39;
In the first analysis of its kind, Professor Rozanski and his colleague & # 39; s merged data from 15 previous studies with men and women from around the world, including the UK.
The 230,000 participants came from the US, Europe, Israel and Australia and were followed for an average of 14 years.
HOW DOES OPTIMISM PREVENT DEATH?
Scientists do not yet know exactly why a sunny setup can extend the lifespan. They believe it has to do with how we deal with stress – a known risk factor for heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Stress also endangers our immune system, making the body less able to deal with infections.
When the brain records stress, it sends out signals that fight & flee the reaction & # 39; activate. A flurry of hormones is released and prepares the body for attacks or running away. Blood pressure and heart rate rise.
Blood is instead diverted away from the brain, the immune system and the digestive system and into the major muscle groups.
When we are trapped in a chronic state of stress, arteries from the heart become worn out and they constantly beat faster and faster, so we run the risk of heart disease.
Studies show that this also increases the risk of serious infections and digestive disorders due to the diversion of the blood supply.
A major Harvard study found that pessimists died more often than optimists of cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases, and infections.
The most recent work, from Mount Sinai St Luke & # 39; s Hospital, suggests that a healthy look simply makes people eat healthier and exercise more, thereby preventing disease.
There were 35 percent fewer strokes and heart attacks among those identified as optimists compared to the rest.
Deaths from any cause, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia and diabetes, were also 14 percent lower among the optimists.
Levels of optimism were assessed using psychological scales, as well as their overall health.
Professor Rozanski said: “Our study was the first meta-analysis, as far as we know, to assess the relationship between optimism and clinical outcomes.
& # 39; The findings were consistent with studies that evaluated the association between optimism and other related medical conditions. & # 39;
Previous research has shown that optimistic aids in the prevention of heart failure, Alzheimer's disease, hardening of the arteries, respiratory diseases, infections and various forms of cancer.
Professor Rozanski said that this may be due to optimists who have a higher tendency to exercise and have a healthy diet while rarely drinking or smoking.
Other studies have reported that pessimism can lead to increased inflammation. It can also damage vessels and arteries, raise blood pressure and reduce metabolic function.
If you are in the pit, you can even shorten telomeres, protective tips about pieces of DNA compared to shoelaces. Their length is linked to a long service life.
Professor Rozanski said: & # 39; Optimism has long been disclosed as a positive trait for life.
Al All in all, the cardiovascular and psychological benefits of optimism make it an attractive new arena for behavioral cardiology studies.
& # 39; Future studies should seek to better define the bio-behavior mechanisms underlying this association and to evaluate the potential benefit of interventions designed to promote optimism or reduce pessimism. & # 39;
The team suggests that psychological interventions, such as intensive cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that reduces symptoms of depression, can be rolled out more widely.
Doctors and nurses should also encourage positivity in patients – in addition to a healthy diet and exercise – more.
Earlier this year, another study, based on 70,000 women and 1,500 men in the US, found that the most optimistic lived 15 percent longer on average.
The Boston University team suggested that they might find it easier to control emotions and protect themselves against the effects of stress.
They were also considerably more likely to be 85 compared to the largest pessimists.
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