According to a new 10-year study released this week in the European Heart Journal, an individual’s general state of mind and overall mental health is directly proportional to their likelihood of developing heart disease.
The United States based studied followed the lives of some 1700 individuals over a course of ten years and kept careful records of the participant’s emotional assessments over the years, as well as key health indicators.
One of the most surprising discoveries of the study was the fact that nearly all of the 145 individuals who developed heart disease during this time had also reported long periods of feeling stress, hostility or depression, Tech Jackal reports.
This is the finding of a new study conducted by researchers from the Columbia University Medical Center.
The saying "don’t worry, be happy" makes a lot of sense here as people who are happy often, tend to be not big stressers, dBTechno reports.
According to WebMD, at the start of the study, trained professionals assessed the participants' degree of expression of negative emotions like depression, hostility, and anxiety and positive emotions such as joy, happiness, and excitement.
Naturally happy people certainly do experience depression and other negative emotions from time to time, lead researcher Karina W. Davidson, PhD, of Columbia University Medical Center tells WebMD. But this is usually situational and transient.
The tendency toward expression of positive emotions such as happiness and contentment is known in psychological circles as "positive affect."
"We know from previous studies that negative emotion is predictive of heart disease," Davidson says. "We wanted to find out if positive affect is protective."