Statins are the treatment of choice of most physicians for reducing risk of cardiovascular disease. I have shared in the past of my husband’s experience in changing his diet and how it positively impacted his cholesterol levels and heart health. If you would like to read about his experience you can see the posts here.
Recently I came across a JAMA study suggesting that simply by changing your attitude and outlook on life to a more positive one, you could significantly reduce risk of heart disease and extend your lifespan.
Researchers found that those with a positive outlook enjoyed a 35% reduction in cardiovascular events and an 18% reduction in early death, compared to those with a pessimistic outlook. While that may not sound like much, it is significant. In fact, those statistics are much better than what statins provide.
The researchers, in trying to understand how this outlook change could have such significant health effects, postulated that more optimistic people are more likely to eat well, exercise and engage in other healthy behaviors, which is certainly possible.
Interestingly they found another explanation. Over the past 30 years neuroscience research has conclusively proven that since the brain is the control center for health, our thoughts, emotions, experiences and behaviors actually change the function and structure of the brain. So what we think, how we feel and how we respond to experiences in life have a direct and measurable effect on our physical health, which of course impacts how long we live as well. Their conclusions are based on peer-reviewed, scientific studies on neuroscience and neuropsychology. God, of course said it first, “as a man thinks, so is he!” (Proverbs 23:7)
These and many other studies have disproved the belief that the brain cannot be changed. By applying principles of neuroplasticity, we can create a more positive outlook and increase resilience as we rewire our brains for better overall health.
Does it surprise you that simply by changing your outlook could significantly improve your physical health?
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