A new study reports that the more you stay positive and happy in life, the better chance you have of avoiding a brain stroke. To date, various studies have found more optimistic people have a healthier immune system, faster wound healing, a lower risk of heart disease and other benefits already. So don’t worry, be happy.
Eric Kim, a doctoral student at the University of Michigan, found a significant association between positivity and stroke risk in particular. Kim and his colleagues looked at data from the Health and Retirement Study. This is a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults over the age of 50. The team then looked at the results of standard optimism tests for 6,044 men and women. All were free of stroke at the study’s start. The optimism score was on a 16-point scale. The participants self-rated their health, and the team followed them for two years. During the follow-up period, 88 cases of stroke occurred.
After adjusting for age, each unit increase in their optimism score reduced stroke risk about 9%. Not impressed? Every little bit counts.
Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head every day. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information.
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