- Psychology & the public
- What we do
- Member networks
- Careers, education & training
Staying positive is good for your heart
Being in a sound psychological state can be good for the heart, a new study has found. Published by the European Heart Journal, the research - which included nearly 8,000 British civil servants - showed that a satisfying life can have positive physical effects on the organ.
The investigation revealed that higher levels of average life satisfaction were linked to reduced risk of total coronary heart disease of 13 per cent.
Indeed, happiness in four specific life domains - family, sex, job and self - was also associated with a reduced probability of experiencing the condition.
Dr Julia Boehm from the Department of Society, Human Development and Health at the Harvard School of Public Health in the US, which aims to train both scholars and practitioners, said: "These findings suggest that interventions to bolster positive psychological states - not just alleviate negative psychological states - may be relevant among high-risk individuals."
Chartered Psychologist Dr Christine Bundy commented: "These finding underline what we have known for some time that psychological functioning and physical functioning are linked.
"In particular, mood has both direct and indirect effects on the cardiovascular system. This study shows the effects can be both positive as well as negative."