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.

More On Heart Health

Laughter Therapy for Better Blood Vessels

article

Laughter Therapy for Better Blood Vessels
Laugh your way to better blood vessel function by watching a funny flick. Laughter relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow -- the exact opposi...
What Role Does Sex Play in Heart Health?

video

What Role Does Sex Play in Heart Health?
Sex is associated with a better quality of life; it increases immunity, decreases inflammation and helps us preserve loving relationships. Watch cardi...
What Are the Latest Dietary Guidelines for Heart Disease Prevention?

video

What Are the Latest Dietary Guidelines for Heart Disease Prevention?
The latest dietary guidelines for heart health are what you would expect, though the focus on cholesterol has shifted. In this video, cardiologist Suz...
What Meat Choices Are Better for Heart Health?

video

What Meat Choices Are Better for Heart Health?
Fish and seafood are good low-carnitine meat choices for heart health; but plant-based protein sources also contain fiber and other important nutrient...