How being an optimist can help your heart

How being an optimist can help your heart

Are you a glass half-full kind of person? If so, your optimistic nature could be doing wonders for your heart. According to a study done by researchers at the University of Illinois and funded by The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the National Center for Research Resources, people with positive attitudes tend to have better cardiovascular health

Be upbeat for your heart beat 
For the study, scientists looked at 5,100 adults between the ages of 45 and 84. The researchers analyzed the participants' heart health using the seven metrics recommended by the American Heart Association – body mass index, blood pressure, dietary intake, fasting plasma glucose and serum cholesterol levels, tobacco use and physical activity. For each element, subjects received a score of two, one or zero, symbolizing ideal, intermediate and poor health, respectively. The numbers were then added up so that each person earned a score somewhere between zero and 14. 

Having a positive outlook on life has a strong connection to heart health. Having a positive outlook on life has a strong connection to heart health.

In addition to this AHA assessment, the subjects also completed questionnaires that looked at their levels of optimism and mental health, as well as physical health statistics based on self-reported information concerning their livers, kidneys and whether or not they were living with arthritis. Ultimately, researchers determined that people with more optimistic dispositions were 50 percent more likely to score a number symbolizing intermediate health and 76 percent more likely to achieve an ideal health score. People who identified as optimists were more active and were less likely to smoke cigarettes, explained the study. Additionally, they had healthier body mass indexes, cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels. 

The report noted that optimism was found to be a more significant factor than age, education status, income, race and ethnicity when it came to heart health. The pool of participants was believed to be the most diverse to date for a study involving attitude and heart health. Subjects were 38 percent white, 28 percent African-American, 22 percent Hispanic/Latino and 12 percent Chinese. 

Make positive lifestyle changes to support a healthy heart 
If you find yourself approaching things with a negative outlook, you could be on the fast track toward developing serious heart conditions. Real Simple magazine recommended incorporating small practices into your everyday routine to improve your attitude. Start using positive adjectives, trying new things, being goofier and repeating affirmations to create a healthier, more optimistic you. 

"In addition to adjusting your outlook, it's also crucial that you continue paying close attention to your physical health, especially the seven metrics used by the AHA."

In addition to adjusting your outlook, it's also crucial that you continue paying close attention to your physical health, especially the seven metrics used by the AHA. Stop using tobacco, find an effective exercise routine, maintain a healthy weight, pay attention to your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar and make sure to always consume a nutritious diet. An important part of eating for your heart is exchanging dangerous saturated fats for healthy unsaturated fats, like omega-3 fatty acids. 

While omega-3s are found in a number of foods, an easy way to consume this essential compound is by taking the premium supplement Omax3. This capsule, which contains 91 percent concentrated omega-3, was created by doctors associated with Yale University and has been shown to reduce bad cholesterol levels. Be sure to choose Omax3 for maximum human performance. 

Essential takeaways 

  • Researchers from the University of Illinois discovered that people with optimistic dispositions tend to have superior cardiovascular health. 
  • Scientists examined 5,100 adults over the age of 45 based on the AHA's seven metrics for heart health. 
  • Participants then took another assessment focusing more on mental health and optimism. 
  • People with more positive outlooks had far better heart health regardless of their socioeconomic status, race, age and income. 
  • In addition to adjusting your optimism, eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is crucial for good heart health.