Harvard researcher Julia Boehm found that the psychological traits of optimism, positive emotions, and a sense of meaning offer measurable protection against heart attacks and strokes. These characteristics slow the progression of cardiovascular disease as well.
Boehm and fellow researcher Laura Kubzansky conducted the first systematic review of happiness and heart health at the Harvard School of Public Health.
In over 200 studies of forms of well-being and cardiovascular health, the most optimistic individuals had a 50 percent less chance of experiencing an initial cardiovascular event compared to their less optimistic peers.
"The absence of the negative is not the same thing as the presence of the positive," says Boehm. She continues to study what individuals do right rather than the traditional psychological focus to trying to fix what's wrong.
Examine and write about your relationship to stress and ways you adapt with positive reactions.
If you have challenges with negative responses, take time to write about approaches to try the next time you feel upset or frustrated with a situation.
Don't worry, write what's right about life.