Monday, May 5, 2008

Harvard Links Optimism to Health and Longevity

--body + mind + spirit--

Looking for a reason to be optimistic about life - how about good health ? According to a new study published in Harvard Men's Health Watch, men with an optimistic outlook actually enjoy better health and a longer life. The study came across the following findings:

  • Optimistic coronary bypass patients were only half as likely as pessimists to require re-hospitalization.
  • Highly pessimistic men were three times more likely to develop hypertension.
  • People with positive emotions had lower blood pressures.
  • In one study, the most pessimistic men were more than twice as likely to develop heart disease compared with the most optimistic.

The researchers believe that optimism in and of itself has biological benefits such as lowering stress hormones and inflammation. In addition those with a more positive outlook will lead longer and healthier lives due to stronger social support networks and the pursuit of better medical care. But scientists also note that although optimism is healthy for everyone - it might be easier for some more than others, and even note a hereditary link. They believe that it is possible that the same genes that predispose people to optimism may predispose them to health and longevity.

Regardless if its easy or not to see that cup half it anyway, it might keep you living longer!

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