A review of over 200 studies into cardiovascular health reached an important conclusion. Having a positive outlook on life can reduce your likelihood of a cardiovascular health problem by up to 50%.

Even when factors like age, body weight, economic status, and smoking were taken into account, a person’s optimism was an independent predictive factor.

The research was carried out fellow at Harvard School of Public Health and reported in Psychological Bulletin online. Most interesting to the researchers was that the attitude of optimism was effective in itself to help protect the heart. People who did not have negative psychological states, such as depression, anxiety, and stress, still were not as protected as those who had demonstrably positive attitudes.

Since over half a million people die each year of heart disease, we would do well to focus on having a hopeful, cheerful take on life. And we can set an example for our children. The senior author of the study Dr. Laura Kubzansky was quoted as saying, “These findings suggest that an emphasis on bolstering psychological strengths rather than simply mitigating psychological deficits may improve cardiovascular health.” The researchers pointed out that these optimists generally led healthier lifestyles and had fewer markers for heart issues.

Let’s spend time with our children showing them the brighter side of life and limiting their exposure to grim news and killing or being killed in video games. With real-time reports every time a bad thing happens anywhere in the world, kids can get a negative view of life. Keep their daily life safe and exciting and you may be prolonging as well as enhancing their lives!

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