Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Power of Positive Thinking

Could a good attitude be the key to good health? A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association indicates that optimism may lower women's risk of death and disease.

Researchers found that optimistic women have a lower risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or depressive symptoms. Conversely, pessimistic women were at a higher risk of dying from any cause, although their risk of developing heart disease was not altered.

"As a physician, I'd like to see people try to reduce their negativity in general," said Hilary A. Tindle, M.D., M.P.H., lead author of the study and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. "The majority of evidence suggests that sustained, high degrees of negativity are hazardous to health."

Optimism was also associated with more active lifestyles and optimistic women were less likely to smoke.