Having a positive mindset doesn’t only benefit your mental health. According to a recent meta-analysis of previous research, having an optimistic mind-set may also reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and early death.
This new meta-analysis, published in JAMA Network Open, included 15 studies that measured optimism and pessimism by asking the level of agreement with such statements as “In uncertain times, I usually expect the best,” or “I rarely expect good things to happen to me.”
Analysis of the 10 studies that looked at heart disease, which pooled data on 209,436 people, found that compared with pessimists, people with the most optimistic outlook had a 35 percent lower risk for cardiovascular events. Nine studies with data on all-cause mortality included 188,599 participants and found that optimists had a 14 percent lower risk of premature death than the most pessimistic people.
The conclusion from lead author Alan Rozanski? “It seems optimists have better health behaviors.”