Maintaining a positive outlook in life may help to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a new study.
Research by the Harvard School of Public Health – published in the April 17 edition of the Psychological Bulletin – has found that positive psychological wellbeing may help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes.
According to lead author Julia Boehm, the presence of positivity is a powerful health tool.
"We found that factors such as optimism, life satisfaction, and happiness are associated with reduced risk of CVD regardless of such factors as a person’s age, socioeconomic status, smoking status, or body weight," she said.
"The most optimistic individuals had an approximately 50 per cent reduced risk of experiencing an initial cardiovascular event compared to their less optimistic peers."
Other ways to help reduce the risk of heart disease may be to improve lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise, as well as to quit smoking.
Some private health insurance providers offer access to wellbeing initiatives that incorporate advice on lifestyle changes and Australians with significant health risk factors may be able to utilise health fund programs supported by trained dietitians.