Thursday, June 21, 2012

Be Happy To Prevent Heart Disease!

It has been known that people who are chronically angry, anxious or depressed would have a higher risk of heart attack. The reason quoted by scientists is that the stress associated with these people can lead to damage of arteries and the heart.

On the other hand, people who are upbeat and optimistic might prevent them from getting heart disease. This is what the researchers from Harvard School of Public Health found. After reviewing dozens of studies examining a positive outlook on heart health, they discovered that the most optimistic people had half the risk of a first heart attack comparing to the least optimistic.

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!

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