A positive attitude could improve prognoses among heart patients, researchers at Pennsylvania State University have found. The results of the study, which analyzed patients with heart health issues, were published in Psychosomatic Medicine.
Can a Positive Attitude Help Your Heart?
Researchers surveyed more than 1,000 adults with heart disease. Participants answered questions about their emotions, motivation, and overall well-being, rating themselves on a standard scale to assess determination, activity level, enthusiasm, and other attitudes. They also provided details on how frequently they exercised, whether they smoked, their quality of sleep, and whether they took their medications as prescribed.
Participants who reported a positive attitude—defined as high levels of emotions such as determination, enthusiasm, and excitement—were more likely to get regular exercise, take their cardiovascular medications, and sleep better. These factors correlated with a healthier heart, suggesting a positive outlook can indirectly influence heart health.
Staying Positive in the Face of Heart Diseasewellness with better heart health. A 2013 study published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that optimistic people with a high risk of coronary artery disease saw a one-third reduction in their risk. In the general population, the risk reduction was 13% among optimistic people.
The American Heart Association (AHA) emphasizes many heart health problems stem from lifestyle issues, so adopting a healthier lifestyle can reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack. The AHA recommends some of the following:
- Get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, per week.
- Don’t eat more calories than you know you can burn up each day.
- Eat nutritious foods from all food groups, including lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and non-tropical vegetable oils.
- Limit your consumption of trans and saturated fats, as well as soda, sweetened drinks, and sweets. Limit red meat and select the leanest cuts available.
- Reduce your sodium consumption.
- Don’t smoke.
- How can happiness make your heart healthier? (2015, October 10). Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/300731.php
- Laino, C. (2013, July 10). Heart health: Cheerful people less likely to have CAD. Retrieved from http://www.medpagetoday.com/TheGuptaGuide/Cardiology/40383
- Norton, A. (2015, October 16). Positive outlook may help heart disease patients heal. Retrieved from http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2015/10/16/positive-outlook-may-help-heart-disease-patients-heal
- The American Heart Association’s diet and lifestyle recommendations. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/The-American-Heart-Associations-Diet-and-Lifestyle-Recommendations_UCM_305855_Article.jsp#.ViUFj3XInK4
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