Turn that frown upside down – it may just protect you from heart problems
According to experts from a Harvard School of Public Health, a cheery disposition could protect you against heart problems.
The report, published in Psychological Bulletin, involved a review of over 200 studies that had recorded psychological well-being and cardiovascular health.
Interestingly, what the analysis revealed was that factors such as satisfaction with life, optimism levels and overall happiness were linked to a lower risk of heart disease, despite the age, weight and smoking status of the participants.
Those involved in the study assessed as being more ‘optimistic’ tended to engage in healthier behaviour, for example exercising frequently and eating a healthy and well balanced diet. However, whilst these factors are certainly influential, even when the researchers controlled for these factors the link between a healthy heart and happiness still remained.
Although this research is extremely positive, Dr Julie Boehm has warned that it only suggests a link, and is by no means concrete proof that emotional well-being is directly linked to a heart disease.
However, Maureen Talbot, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation said of the study: “It also highlights the need for healthcare professionals to provide a holistic approach to care, taking into account the state of someone’s mental health and monitoring its effect on their physical health.”
As research such as this continues to emerge, it is becoming clearer and clearer that our emotional health does indeed have an impact upon our physical health. Previous research has already shown that there is a link between stress and depression – and with this in mind we should be doing what we can to optimise our emotional well-being.
If you are feeling particularly low and unmotivated this may be linked to certain areas of your life in which you feel unfulfilled. Life coaching is a form of therapy which offers effective and positive techniques that could enable you to address areas which are causing you unhappiness – helping you to move forward in the desired direction.
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