MIND & BODY AFTER 50

OPTIMISM & HOSTILITY

Hostility Hurts Your Heart!

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Here’s another psychological factor that can affect your physical health — hostility. 

Since the 1980’s, dozens of scientific studies have shown that people with chronic hostility & cynicism frequently develop cardiovascular illness (heart disease, high blood pressure and narrowing of the blood vessels). The evidence is clear: chronic hostility burdens the body — especially the heart & blood vessels. 

Hostility is “chronic hate and anger” — it’s an individual’s tendency to feel suspicion and m…

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Less Cognitive Decline in Optimistic Women!

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Optimism lessens your risk of cognitive decline as you age. 

That’s the findings of a 2016 study published in the peer-reviewed journal, Psychosomatic Medicine.

This study is based on data first assembled in the “Health and Retirement Study” — a national survey that tracked the health of more than 37000 American adults over the age of 50.  That survey began in 1992. 

In this study, researchers narrowed their focus to 4600 of those participants. All were 65 years or older when they completed a…

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Want a Long Life? Try Optimism!

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Here’s still more evidence showing that optimism is remarkably good for your health. 

Researchers investigated “exceptional longevity” — a life span of 85 years or beyond. They discovered that optimistic people are much more likely to live into their advanced years. 

The research was based on 2 studies. The largest study included more than 69,000 women who participated in the Nurses Health Study, beginning in 1976. The women completed an optimism assessment in 2004, and then their health was t…

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Optimism Protects Your Heart!

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Remarkably, science continues to demonstrate that optimistic people are at lower risk for illness and death, when contrasted with their more pessimistic peers. 

In a previous post we examined a study that showed an optimistic attitude was associated with healthier aging in 33,000 women over an 8 year period. At the start of the study, their average age was 67 years.

Now, let’s consider these 3 studies that associate optimism with better cardiovascular health.

JAMA (the journal of he American …

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Optimism is Good Medicine!

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Optimism is definitely good for women’s health — especially as we age. That’s the findings of a 2019 study by Dr. Peter James & his colleagues, of Harvard Medical School. 

Researchers followed the health of more than 33,000 American women for 8 years. The women who entered the study were of average age 67. All were in good health. They completed various health tests, including a psychological test that measured their level of optimism. Some of the women were found to be in the ‘most optimistic’…

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