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This page features timely information as well as special workshops and seminars presented by our members.

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September 2009


Optimistic Women ‘Live Longer’

By Glenn Peters, Ph.D.


From the BBC News

Women who are optimistic have a lower risk of heart disease and death, an American Study shows. The latest study by US investigators mirrors the findings of earlier work by a Dutch team showing optimism reduces heart risk in men. The research on nearly 100,000 women, published in the Journal of Circulation, found pessimists had higher blood pressure and cholesterol.

Optimistic women had a 9% lower risk of developing heart disease and a 14% lower risk of dying from any cause after more than eight years of follow-up. In comparison, cynical women who harbored hostile thoughts about others or were generally mistrusting of others were 16% more likely to die over the same time period.

One possibility is that optimists are better at coping with adversity, and might, for example, take better care of themselves when they do fall ill. In the study, the optimistic women exercised more and were leaner than pessimistic peers. Lead researcher, Dr. Hilary Tindle, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, said: “The majority of evidence suggests that sustained, high degrees of negativity are hazardous to health.”

A spokeswoman for the British Heart Foundation said: “We know that hostile emotions can release certain chemicals in the body which may increase the risk of heart disease, but we don’t fully understand how and why.” Optimistic or hostile attitudes can be linked to health behaviors such as smoking or poor diet, which may also influence heart health.

A good thing for all women is that regardless of your outlook, making healthy choices such as not smoking and eating well, will have a much more positive impact on your heart. More research is needed to explore how and why these psychological attitudes may impact on your health.


“Mental Health” Days Are Common In The Workplace

By Sandy Plone, Ph.D.
(From Los Angeles Times Business Section: 4/20/08)

According to a poll conducted by ComPsych Corp., which provides corporate counseling services, more than 80% of employees admitted to taking “mental health” days from work to recover or recharge. One-third said family and relationship issues were the cause, while 20% cited work-related stress and 12 % attributed the need to being tired.




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