5 Ways a Positive Attitude Improves Your Health

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon 

There have always been mentions of a smile taking you far in life, and now there is research that proves that a positive attitude and outlook has a direct effect on improving your health.

It can be harder for some to change their attitude over a short period, especially when it's not their best week, but cultivating a positive attitude will start to come naturally to you when creating a habit of it. 

How can a positive attitude improve your health? Let's take a look at the following health perks you receive when having a positive attitude. 

 

A Positive Attitude Boost Your Immune System

Studies conducted over the last few years have found that there are areas of the brain directly linked to emotions that affect the immune system. 

Researchers from the University of Kentucky found that those who were more optimistic about life events exhibited a stronger and better response to vaccines or other health-related treatments (such as surgery) compared to pessimists. 

On top of that, viruses are quicker to fade away from the body compared to the more sluggish extraction by the body of someone who has a more negative mindset.

 

A Positive Attitude and Outlook Could Extend Your Life

In a study of 243 centenarians (also known as people lucky enough to make it to their 100s) by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, researchers found that those with a longer life than most have more "outgoing, optimistic, and easygoing" personalities. 

Despite the stereotype that the older the person, the more likely it is for them to be a cynical grouch brought on by life's hardships, this finds highlights that having a longer life and a positive attitude may be something many should strive for to have their best life literally.

 

A Positive Attitude Lowers Your Risk of Stroke

According to a scale made by researchers from the National Institutes of Health and Retirement Study, middle-aged or older participants who scored higher had a low likelihood of having a stroke. 

Combined with a healthy diet of large amounts of fruits and vegetables, those with no history of heart attack or stroke may also have a significantly better chance of not undergoing heart disease, hypertension, or high blood pressure.

 

Your Heart Will Thank You for Having a Positive Attitude

The American Journal of Cardiology studied participants between ages 40 to 70 years old, to ask whether they agreed or disagreed with given statements about life then administrated a blood test.  It's unsurprising to say that those who had a "sunnier" temperament had better levels of good cholesterol, lower body mass index, and most likely participated in cardiovascular activities than the rest. 

 

A Positive Attitude Helps You Cope Better

It is harmful to tell those with depression, anxiety, or PTSD to merely think away the pain by forcing themselves to be happier. However, studies show that having a positive attitude helps you to recover from traumatic events in a healthier manner. 

By internally combatting negative thoughts with a more hopeful idea or solution to a problem, a positive attitude will help manage your emotions with more resilience and in turn decrease stress levels and promotes healthier coping mechanisms over time.