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Story Updated: May 1, 2012
Having a positive outlook doesn't just boost your spirits it may also keep your heart happy.
Experts keep finding new links between our emotional and physical health. In a new report in the Psychological Bulletin, a pair of Harvard researchers takes a closer look at how optimism may keep our hearts healthy.
After reviewing earlier studies, they conclude that people with so-called Òpositive psychological well-beingÓ have a lower risk of heart disease. The element that seems to be especially helpful is optimism.
Last year, these same researchers found that out of a group of nearly 8,000 men and women, those with the highest levels of optimism were 27-percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease.
People with an upbeat outlook tend to have a healthier lifestyle, which may help explain this connection, according to the researchers.
Even if you're not naturally optimistic, small changes in your life can help brighten your outlook:
* Regular exercise can help relieve depression. Yoga can be especially useful for helping your mind and body work together.
* And spending a few moments every day to feel grateful for the good things in your life can help you learn to focus on the positive.
I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news that doctors are reading; health news that matters to you.