Are you a glass half-full or glass half-empty kind of person? Studies show that glass half-full people are less likely to experience serious heart-related problems. Let’s look at optimism and your heart health!
Optimism and Your Heart Health
A new study on optimism and heart health published by JAMA in September 2019 showed that optimism is associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular events and lower risk of all-cause mortality. The study included 15 separate studies including 229,391 participants. Participants’ heart health was monitored after a mean of 13.8 years (range, 2-40 years.) If you want to read the full study, read it here.
Benefits of Positive Thinking
It’s no secret that optimists have a perceived higher quality of life than their pessimistic friends. But, what you might not know if that your attitude about life can improve your overall health and wellbeing.
A PsychCentral article about positive thinking explains, “Actually, though, a load of evidence shows that your attitude about life can improve your health and even speed your recovery from a serious ailment or surgery. The attitudes that seem to help the most are optimism, hope, and, above all, a feeling that you have some impact on the quality of your own life.”
How to Be More Positive
1. Eat healthy foods
Healthy foods help your body feel better. When your body feels great, it’s so much easier to feel great emotionally and mentally.
2. Exercise regularly
Exercise boosts your mood, releases endorphins that improve your mental and physical well-being. It also relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety, relieves stress, encourages better sleep, and helps you have better self-confidence.
3. Get enough sleep
Sleep and stress are connected. Lack of sleep is so harmful on your body! Sleeping 7-9 hours per night helps your mood and overall feeling of wellbeing!
4. Spend time with positive influences
Surrounding yourself with positive influences will bring you up. If you surround yourself with negative influences, you might find yourself feeling increasingly negative!
5. Listen to music
Music can lift your spirits and be very therapeutic as well. Music helps you relax and has been proven to decrease anxiety.
6. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness practices ward off negative feelings of anxiety and stress. Mindfulness helps you change the way that your thoughts shape your life. By practicing mindfulness, you can be in the present and realize all that is going well in your life.
7. Talk to someone
A listening ear can do wonders! Whether it be a therapist, a trusted friend, family member, or partner, talking through your issues with someone can help alleviate stress and boost your mood.
8. Be kind to others
Being kind to others and serving them helps you to feel more satisfied with the quality of your life.
9. Practice gratitude
Keeping a gratitude journal helps you focus on the good in your life and not on the bad.
10. Spend time with a pet
Is it even possible to feel negative when you’re spending time with your furry friend?