Be positive for better health

Fiona O' Callaghan

Benefit of being an optimist. Photo: Getty Images.

According to a new study, people who react positively to stressful situations benefit from better health and wellbeing.

Researchers from Pennsylvania State University found that people who fail to keep a positive outlook when faced with everyday dilemmas, have higher levels of inflammation in the body.

Inflammation can occur when we’re injured or stressed and long-term exposure to elevated levels of inflammation can cause major health risks including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

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As part of the study, researchers interviewed more than 800 adults on their daily causes of stress and examined their responses, as well as blood samples, to measure levels of inflammation.

The results revealed that people with a more negative reaction to stress had higher levels of inflammation in the body. Women in particular also seemed to be at an increased risk for inflammation.

“How the participants reacted to the stress was the biggest indicator of any elevated levels of inflammation,” said study author Nancy Sin.

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“A person's frequency of stress may be less related to inflammation than their responses to stress,” she said. "It’s how a person reacts to stress that is important.”

We reckon a calm and positive attitude can go a long ways to staying healthy, so check out our easy ways to relax right now.