Optimism Reduces Stroke Risk, Improves Health
You may be familiar with the idea that a healthy attitude is great medicine. Unfortunately, very few people realize just how in sync the mind and body really are. Laughing can instantly make you feel better just as a positive attitude can help you to be significantly more healthy. In fact, an optimistic attitude towards life can prevent all sorts of physical ailments from developing. According to one study, an optimistic attitude may help prevent you from having a stroke.
Over 6000 adults aged 50 and over were asked to assess their level of optimism on a point scale up to 16 points. After age adjustments, each point on the scale accounted for a 9 percent decrease in stroke risk. The study found that the link between optimism and reduction in stroke risk is very strong. Even when factors such as gender, blood pressure, illness, body mass index, smoking, drinking and physical activity were adjusted, the relationship between attitude and reduction of stroke risk was very clear.
Optimistic people use positive thinking to deal with difficult problems in their life, big and small – and it works. Those with an optimistic attitude generally have increased resistance to illnesses such as the common cold, a reduced rate of depression, lower amounts of stress and are more energetic. This concept even holds true with old age, according a more recent study. The study, published in Psychosomatic Medicine, says that seniors who maintain a positive outlook despite increasing health problems can reduce—and even reverse—health risks.
It is thought that people who are optimistic can better cope with stress and anxiety, two big factors for overall quality of health. Previous studies have also indicated that people who are optimistic have improved immune system function and a healthier heart compared to those who are pessimistic.
Change Your Attitude
It appears that keeping a stroke and other serious health conditions at bay could be as easy as an attitude adjustment. Simple positive affirmations throughout the day may be helpful reminders of the importance of a positive state of mind. After all, we cannot always control what happens to us, but we can always control how we respond to what happens.