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
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
(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.