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How a Positive Attitude Helps Your Heart

How a Positive Attitude Helps Your Heart

If you often find yourself celebrating the good things in life with an enthusiastic fist bump or a happy high five, then score one for your heart.

Research shows that—much like a healthy diet and regular exercise—a joyful, enthusiastic disposition and positive attitude may help keep your heart free of disease.

Beating with joy
In a 10-year study, people who scored high in emotions like joy, enthusiasm, and contentment had a much lower incidence of coronary heart disease compared with folks who experienced those good feelings less frequently. More research is needed to confirm the link between a positive attitude and a healthy, good heart, but other research has already done a pretty good job proving the other side of the coin—that negative emotions like anger, hostility, and depression can increase the risk of heart disease.

Other benefits of bliss
In addition to setting the stage for a good heart, maintaining a positive attitude may help your health in a multitude of other ways as well, according to similar studies. Happiness can boost your immune system, nip your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, and help you live longer in general. And who doesn't want to feel happy, anyway? Sure makes life easier.

Medically reviewed in April 2019.

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