Look on the Bright Side for Better Health

What’s a simple and no-cost way to improve your health, extend your life and generally experience greater well-being? Look on the bright side of things and appreciate. A 2009 study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association reports that women with positive attitudes lowered their risk of developing heart disease, while women with a more negative, pessimistic outlook were at greater risk for heart disease and dying.

Persistent negative affect, such as depression, anxiety, or anger, and cynical, hostile attitudes towards others predict [cardiovascular disease]… One attribute that has received particular attention is dispositional optimism, defined as the general expectation that good things, rather than bad things, will happen in the future. Evidence shows, for example, that optimistic individuals have a lower risk of rehospitalization after bypass surgery and are at reduced risk of mortality.

Developing a practice of appreciation is one simple way to become optimistic, and potentially improve your health.