As we explained in our post on heart health basics, there are a number of risk factors that can increase a woman’s chance of developing heart disease, and a host of ways to decrease your heart disease risk factors.
Stress, depression, and other mental issues are among the top heart disease risk factors for women — so it only makes sense that opposing emotions like happiness are linked to heart health.
How exactly are heart health and happiness linked? Get the details here!
Happiness & Heart Health
The research was conducted on 1,739 healthy adults over a 10-year period. When the study began, professionals assessed the degree to which participants expressed negative emotions, including hostility, anxiety, and depression, plus positive emotions like excitement and joy.
After collecting data on participants’ heart health at the end of the 10-year period, researchers accounted for known heart disease risk factors. Their findings showed that those participants expressing more positive emotions had a reduced risk (22% less) of developing heart disease than their counterparts. Participants who fell in the middle of the positive-negative spectrum of emotions had an increased risk of developing heart disease, while those who expressed the most negative emotions displayed the highest heart disease risk.
So does happiness guarantee your heart health?
Though the researchers do admit that the study suggests that positive emotions may have a protective effect on the heart, further trials should be conducted before happiness is officially linked to heart health. They also note that a positive attitude could impact heart health for the following reasons:
- Happiness promotes overall health. Other studies have shown that positive people have healthier sleeping, eating, and fitness habits.
- Happiness begets chemical changes. When you’re happy, your stress hormone levels lower, which is beneficial to your heart.
- Genetic links. Researchers theorize that people can be genetically predisposed to express happier emotions, and perhaps they’re also genetically predisposed for heart health.
Boost Your Happiness & Heart Health Today
Our favorite way to bust stress, boost confidence, and fire up our happy-making endorphins is with a boxing or kickboxing Power Hour at TITLE Boxing Club. Find the TITLE near you today and sign up for our calorie-busting fitness classes!