Is positive the key to ageing well?

In general, we all fall into two basic categories: Those who consider the glass half empty, and those who consider the glass half full.

So, why is it that the glass half full people might just be better off health-wise?

Sure, we’ve heard it all before but new research from the University of Illinois claims that those who embrace positivity are twice as likely to have a healthier cardiovascular system.

The US study involved 5,000 US adults – The research found those who were more positive were in a better shape than those with a gloomier outlook on life.

When you think about it, it all makes sense. It’s long been known that exercise increases mental wellbeing. Those who produced higher life satisfaction results also had significantly better blood sugar, healthier cholesterol readings and were more physically active.

High blood pressure, smoking, high blood cholesterol… Most of us know that each play a big part in causing heart disease.

While blood pressure and cholesterol can be changed with a healthy diet and moderate levels of exercise, motivation plays a big factor.

After all, we’ve all faced this conundrum: Thirty minutes of extra sleep or thirty minutes of brisk walking? A delicious muffin or a healthy apple?

Rosalba Hernandez, Professor of Social Work at the University of Illinois said treating underlying mental health issues could be the key to changing people’s lifestyles.

In turn, this is likely to boost people’s mental wellbeing which is also likely to have a positive impact on eating habits and being rid of those unhealthy habits such as smoking.

Mr Hernandez said: “Individuals with the highest levels of optimism have twice the odds of being in ideal cardiovascular health compared to their more pessimistic counterparts. This association remains significant, even after adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics and poor mental health”.

There you have it: Positivity really is the key to healthy ageing!

Learn more about the study here.