Why Your Heart is Happy on World Gratitude Day

How does your heart feel today? If you’re running late for the soccer game, realized you forgot you’re in charge of snacks this week and spilt your coffee while getting in the car, then you’re heart is probably not feeling that great. However, if you happened to notice the morning sun light beaming through the kitchen window as you poured that cup of coffee and remembered you have an extra box of granola bars in the pantry for the soccer game, then you’re heart is feeling pretty good. How we view what is going on around us, researchers say can have a big impact on our heart health – especially those with heart disease.  A recent study on these findings was published in the September issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, appropriately the same month as World Gratitude Day – September 21.

Researchers examined 600 patients with coronary artery disease for more than five years, looking at the link between positivity and their likelihood of exercising. While not the first study to look at the impact of a positive attitude on health, this one found those who were positive and exercised had a 42 percent decreased risk of dying during the study period. An earlier study published this year in The American Journal of Cardiology also found optimism is linked with higher levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) and lower levels of triglycerides. Having a positive attitude can even help prevent a stroke.  Whether attitude is an indication of differences at the cellular level or an impetus for living a healthier life, if you want to live to 100, researchers say most do so by seeing the world through rose-colored glasses.

What are you thankful for?

If you had to think of one thing you were grateful for today, what would it be? Do you have to think about it for a while or does is it come to you instantly? We posed a question to our Facebook fans this week, giving them an opportunity to express their thanks for anything or anyone. We were impressed by the outpouring messages of thanks and appreciation.


Finding Happiness

An article we noticed circulating on social media this week was Huffington Post’s “The Habits of Supremely Happy People.” For those which happiness seems to elude, what is the secret of those who appear to be perfectly happy? The article positioned the pursuit of happiness as just that. If 60 percent of our happiness (or lack thereof) is determined by genetics and our environment, then the remaining 40 percent is a choice, mindset and decision to be happy. Here are a few ways to get started as listed among the habits of supremely happy people – surround yourself with other happy people, give back, look on the bright side, and exercise. Taking care of our attitude is much like taking care of our heart. There are things we can do everyday to be happier and healthier and what better day to get started than World Gratitude Day?