Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The benefits of a positive attitude

Every know and again on this blog I talk about the importance of mental factors. I believe we often underplay the psychological factors of health - the need for us to minimise chronic stress, to have a positive outlook on life.

Here is an interesting story from the BBC

Optimistic women had a 9% lower risk of developing heart disease and a 14% lower risk of dying from any cause after more than eight years of follow-up.

In comparison, cynical women who harboured hostile thoughts about others or were generally mistrusting of others were 16% more likely to die over the same time-scale.

One possibility is that optimists are better at coping with adversity, and might, for example take better care of themselves when they do fall ill.
In the study, the optimistic women exercised more and were leaner than pessimistic peers.
Unhappiness, misery is unhealthy....it is not how things were meant to be.

The related story of course is that Divorce makes you ill


Chainey said...

Yes, but the optimism and the good health could both be results of some unidentified common cause rather than cause and effect.

Chris said...

Indeed...being healthy makes you optimistic.....