Having a positive attitude may not just be good for a person’s mood, but for his overall health as well. Recent research published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that being optimistic may lower the risk of stroke.
Scientists measured the optimism levels of 6,044 adults on a 16-point scale. They found that for every point increase in optimism, the risk of stroke decreased by 9 percent.
“Our work suggests that people who expect the best things in life actively take steps to promote health,” said Eric Kim, lead author of the study.
Researchers applied logistic regression analysis to determine the connection between optimism and stroke. They adjusted their findings to factor in lifestyle variables that could affect stroke risk, including psychological conditions and chronic illness.
The scientists suggested that having a positive attitude may lead people to make better decisions about their health, such as getting regular exercise and eating healthy, which may contribute to the lowered risk of stroke. They also mentioned that there has been some evidence suggesting that simply being optimistic alone, without lifestyle changes, may be beneficial to the brain.