Seeing the glass as half-full will not only brighten one’s outlook on life, it could possibly save one’s life, especially if that person is a cardiovascular patient.
The importance of nutrition and an active lifestyle have been the recurrent recommendations for a fit body. However, the psychological make-up of a person also goes a long way in matters of health and heart.
Obesity, smoking, and alcohol abuse are some very common and well-known causes of heart disease, and new research has proven that stress, depression and even pessimism can adversely affect the heart, irrespective of the person being male or female.
In fact, a study on menopausal women to assess their degree of optimism and their general level of hostility and cynicism did by a Women’s Health Initiative has brought to light that optimistic women are at a relatively lower risk for developing heart disease than those who scored high on pessimism. To look deep into the matters of such interrelationship of the heart and mind, doctors are of the opinion that optimists are generally more active in their lifestyle and tend to take better care of themselves or cope better with problems. In fact, positive people are even more resistant to common colds!
After the introduction of bypass surgery, cardiologists have begun to recognise that more optimistic patients fared better in terms of recovery and even survival. This is also because optimists learn to cope well and make connections with others who help and support. On the other hand, pessimists make poorer lifestyle choices than positive thinkers. For instance, a person who thinks that his life is worth living will take the initiative to go hit the gym 3 times a week. Such factors contribute a lot as to how such a person views his heart problems, if any, and copes with it, as well as respond to medications and therapy. With numerous studies done on the connection between a person’s outlook and his heart risk, it is indeed an issue one needs to pay great attention to.
Meditation – Daily meditation has proved to increase activity in the left prefrontal lobes of the brain and can help the person detach from the daily distractions of petty issues and problems.
Keeping a diary – Experts recommend writing down three positive things that happened in the entire day before going to bed.
Relaxation – Recreation time is definitely a good way to bring about positivism in life. Watching a movie such as The Shawshank Redemption, or reading books such as The Life of Pi, and/or even listening to bright cheerful songs such as Natasha Bedingfield’s Unwritten can bring out the optimistic side of any person.
Physical activity – From simply taking a walk or playing with your dog to exercising regularly can activate the endorphins in your brain and create a more optimistic temperament.
Even professional help nowadays, from therapies to workshops are available to those who need it. Although, at the end of the day, it is the person who should be willing to change the way he sees the world. The next time you see a glass, remember that pinning it down as half full or empty is not just an unconscious decision – it can actually affect your heart.
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