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A Healthy Heart needs a Healthy Attitude!

Have a Positive Outlook

Every seven minutes, someone in Canada dies of heart disease. Since heart disease is a leading cause of death today, it is important for us to understand the strong correlation between heart disease and our attitude. Most of us are aware of the major risk factors for heart disease: poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking and stress. However, something as simple as a change in our everyday outlook and attitude can make all the difference. 

This wasn’t something that I thoroughly considered until a few years ago during a visit with my late father in the hospital. As I was passing the nursing station, I noticed a model of a human heart on the desk with a bold word printed on it: Attitude. This image has stuck with me ever since.

In life, we are constantly faced with challenges, and choosing to deal with these challenges in a negative manner could eventually lead to severe health problems. A negative attitude can lead to a disruption in our normal bodily functions with an increase in the stress hormone – cortisol, elevation of our blood pressure, an increase in the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke and acceleration of the aging process.

A new study in the US found that optimists were less likely than pessimists to develop cardiovascular disease and less likely to die of any cause over the course of the eight-year trial. The study looked at 97,253 postmenopausal women. At the start of the study all of these women were free of cancer and cardiovascular disease. When they compared the most optimistic 25% of subjects with the most pessimistic 25%, they found that out of every 10,000 optimistic, 43 developed cardiovascular disease and overall 46 died. For every 10,000 pessimistic subjects, there were 60 cases of cardiovascular disease and 63 deaths overall.  This and many other studies do prove a correlation between our attitude and heart health. For those who have a difficult time dealing with life’s stresses they should seek professional help as there are many mental health professionals available.

As you go through your days, months and years, try your best to stay positive, confident and strong and your good attitude will lead you to a happier and healthier life and heart!

 

 

Marcie Albert is the winner of Round 2 of the Tonic Writing Contest. She won a dollar for every Facebook "like" this article reveived during January. The winning article for Round 3 will be published next issue. Round 4 is open for voting during April. www.tonictoronto.com/contests