Negative Attitudes, Anxiety Seriously Affect Both Waistline and Heart Health

Negative attitude and waistline

There’s more than one reason to keep a positive attitude - including protecting your heart!


There are times for all of us when the future looks scary, and we fall into the trap of having a “less than sunny” outlook on life. But it is important to “turn that frown upside down.” Two new studies out this week find that anxiety and a negative outlook on life are harmful to physical health.

In the first study, published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, researchers report that negative people are more likely to have mild heart disease, which includes partial heart blockages. These folks are at greater risk of heart attacks.

The researchers say that the findings were particularly strong in women. Although the study didn’t find a “cause and effect” for the higher rates of poor health, it is known that people who have a negative outlook on life are less likely to have healthful habits, such as a good diet or daily exercise.

It could also be related to the findings of the second study where British researchers found links between high levels of the stress hormone cortisol and excess weight – particularly weight around the abdomen, which is more dangerous to health.


Cortisol, when chronically high, is associated with greater depression, weight gain, and anxiety.

"We don't know which came first, the greater body weight or the higher cortisol," said researcher Andrew Steptoe, the British Heart Foundation professor of psychology at University College London. The higher cortisol levels, for example, could trigger stress eating that lead to the obesity.

Take the time today to learn more about stress management and how to take a brighter attitude about your future. Do something today that brings you joy. Get outside and go for a walk, if the weather is nice. Try yoga, a known stress reliever. Volunteer – and spread compassion, kindness, and happiness.

Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, news release, Feb. 21, 2017
Obesity, Feb 23

Photo Credit:
By Joy Coffman from San Diego, CA, US - Happiness..., CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons