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Optimistic Women Have Healthier Hearts

Look on the Sunny Side of Life For Heart Health

Having a positive attitude is how underdog sports teams come from behind to cinch victory. It makes for exciting games, but a positive attitude is also important for your personal health — it fights heart disease. New research from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found that seeing the glass half full appears to protect the heart against disease and death, and conversely pessimism increases the risk of heart disease. The 15-year study of 97,000 postmenopausal women involved surveys designed to assess the participants sense of optimism. The women responded "yes" or "no" to statements like, "In unclear times, I usually expect the best," or "If something can go wrong for me, it will."

See if docs understand the power of positive thinking.

Psychologist and American Heart Association spokesman Barry J. Jacobs, PsyD, responded to the results of the study like this:

"There is a lot of conjecture about why this is, but we don’t really know why optimism seems to be so beneficial for health." He added "Someone who believes that life is not worth living probably isn’t the type of person who goes to the gym three times a week."

Interestingly enough, the optimists tended to be younger and have health insurance, where the pessimists were more likely to have chronic diseases like diabetes or high blood pressure. The study found that the women with negative attitudes also avoided exercise.

So do you see the glass as half full or half empty? Do you think pessimists can change? Could exercise be the key to happiness and heart health?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I'm almost optimistic to a fault, but I'd rather look on the bright side than dwell on all the negative things that are out there. My husband can be a real pessimist sometimes and I do think it affects him more than he realizes it does.
Frenched Frenched 7 years
I find myself becoming more positive and optimistic as I get older. I used to be a lot more "angsty" before, HAHA. Sometimes it gets really tough to block out other people's negativity, though. It seems like the calmer and more peaceful you are, the more they try to push your buttons and make you break down. Overall, I believe having a positive state of mind helps you in every single way, too.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I think there is truth in this. I am a glass-half-full person. Generally, I am optimistic. Truthfully, I think this is part of the reason why I seem so youthful (for my age).
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