The power of positive thinking

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By The Gut Health Doctor Team

Dr Megan Rossi in a lab looking through a microscope

Are you an optimist? Turns out you might live longer if you are! You probably know exercise and nutrition are key to a healthy heart, but we don’t often think about how our mindsets could be affecting our health…

Now a systematic review has found our way of thinking – whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist – can also have a significant influence. Our minds are powerful!

The study
Researchers pooled together 10 studies on cardiovascular disease with over 200,000 people in total (aka a systematic review).

Participants answered questionnaires or took short tests to assess their optimism vs pessimism. Take the quiz for yourself!

What they found
– Optimism was linked with a lower risk of cardiovascular issues
– More optimistic people also had a lower risk of all-cause mortality

More studies need to be done before we know exactly how this link works, but research has suggested:

1.  Optimistic people tend to have better diet quality and exercise more regularly
2. Pessimism has been linked to increased inflammation, blood pressure and impaired metabolic function

It’s been a crazy old year and it’s only natural to be less optimistic right now.

But the good news is that our mindset is largely modifiable, so if you’re on the more pessimistic side, it could be worth trying to adjust and start thinking positively** – for your mental health and heart health!

Sounds like Eric Idle was right… Always look on the bright side of life! (if you’re too young to know the song, ask your older relatives)

Do you guys have any tips and tricks that work for you to help you think more positively? Would love to hear them!

**I know many people have lost loved ones, their jobs etc. and thinking positive feels near impossible…. and that’s okay. Trust me I get it. Sending you a virtual hug, because life can really be unfair sometimes. Things will get easier, although I know it might not feel that way in the moment.**


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