Heart Patients, Keep on the Sunny Side for a Longer Life

Heart Patients, Keep on the Sunny Side for a Longer Life

‘Don’t worry, be happy’ isn’t just a catchphrase anymore. For heart patients, a positive attitude could be a lifesaver, says a new study.

Researchers used a questionnaire to check the moods of 600 heart disease patients in a Denmark hospital and then followed up five years later. They found that people with a positive attitude were 42 percent less likely to die during the study than those with a grumpier disposition. And people who were upbeat or exercised regularly were less likely to be hospitalized for a heart problem.

Happiness As Medicine             

This study isn’t the first to point out the link between being happy and being healthy. Researchers and doctors alike have long said that emotional health affects longevity. People who are pessimistic suffer more chronic aches, fatigue and illness. And negative emotions like anger and sadness also have a direct effect on brain function, increasing stress and ultimately our risk for things like heart disease and cancer.

5 easy things that can help you get a handle on your stress.

In one 10-year study, researchers found that people who were generally joyful, enthusiastic and content had a much lower incidence of coronary artery disease than those who felt happy less often. Additionally, by shifting from a depressed, anxious or hostile disposition to a sunnier one, you’re actually fortifying your immune system, which can help you avoid getting sick and have fewer symptoms when you do.

Keep on the Sunny Side

Even when the bad days come, there are things you can do to maintain positivity.

  • Get moving – Exercise is probably the most surefire way to boost your mood and protect your heart. Getting your heart rate up for just twenty minutes a day releases endorphins that can help combat the blues for the next 12 hours. Stuck at a desk all day with no opportunity for working out? Try this to boost your mood.
  • Eat good-mood foods – Making sure your body has what needs nutritionally is key to maintaining a positive attitude. And eating at regular intervals throughout the day keeps your blood sugar stable, which can help prevent mood swings and anxiety. 
  • Plan a girls’ (or guys’) night out – They say you are the company you keep, so it only makes sense that being around happy people can make you happier, too. Try and make it a point to spend time with your friends. It helps you de-stress and can increase your chances of being happy by up to 15%.

Take the first steps to growing younger and healthier with the RealAge Test.