The study, which were funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, showed that people who are more optimistic tend to have healthier blood pressure, cholesterol level and weight, and more likely to exercise, eat healthier, get enough sleep and avoid smoking. The findings were published on April 17, 2012 in the ‘Psychological Bulletin’.
However, more research is still needed to confirm whether a positive outlook makes people feel more willingly to take heart-healthy steps or living healthier helps people feel more positive.
In 2010, researchers from Columbia University Medical Center reported in the February issue of the European Society of Cardiology’s European Heart Journal that people with positive emotions could possibly prevent heart disease.
According to the findings, positive emotions might prevent heart disease by influencing on heart-rate variability, sleeping patterns and smoking cessation. The reasons behind the argument are positive affect might have longer periods of rest or relaxation physiologically and those with positive emotion might recover more quickly from stressors and might not spend too much time ‘re-living’ them, which in turn could cause physiological damage.
Some heart specialists noticed that those patients who feel they can have some control over their lives and are invested in their care have better outcomes. But the problem is that not all people are optimistic. Some people are just pessimistic by nature.
While it is not always easy for people to be happy, especially in the present tough economic situation, taking a moment to just relax and enjoy a sunny day might be just good for the heart!