Positive Emotions Promote good and Heart-Healthy Behaviours

Doctor holding heart

People with heart sickness may benefit from maintaining positive emotions, according to a new study.The study tracked more than 1,000 patients with coronary heart sickness over the course of five years.

Patients who reported higher positive psychological states were more likely to be physically active, sleep better and take their heart medications and were also less likely to smoke, compared to patients with lower levels of positive states.632825“Negative emotions and tension are known to have harmful effects on health, but it is less clear how positive emotions might be health-protective,” said Nancy L Sin, postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Healthy Aging and in the department of biobehavioural health at Penn State.

“We found that positive emotions are associated with a range of long-term health habits, which are important for shortage the risk of future heart problems and death,” Ms Sin said.heThe researchers assessed psychological well-being of participants at baseline and again at a five-year follow-up by asking the participants to rate the extent that they had felt 10 stipulated positive emotions, including “interested,” “proud,” “enthusiastic” and “inspired.”
Physical activity, sleep quality, medication adherence and alcohol and cigarette use were also measured at axis of reference and again five years later.

“Higher levels of positive emotions were associated with less smoking, greater physical activity, better sleep quality and more adherence to medications” at baseline, said the researchers.

Though positive emotions at axis of reference did not predict changes in health behaviours five years later, increases in positive emotions across the five-year period were associated with improvements in physical activity, sleep quality and medication adherence.”Efforts to sustain or enhance positive emotions may be promising for promoting better health behaviours.