Attitude is everything in disease fight
It's easy to feel down in the dumps when you're fighting off a chronic disease -- all too easy to slip into the cycle of gloom and doom as you face your own mortality.
Attitude can play a major role in the fight against any disease, but new research finds stay positive especially important when you're facing one of the nation's leading killers: ischemic heart disease.
By staying positive, and your risk of death from this disease will plunge by 42 percent, according to the study of roughly 600 heart disease patients.
The secret isn't in your outlook alone, of course. It's in how your outlook affects everything else -- especially your behavior and how well you take the initiative in fighting the disease.
If you stay positive, for example, you're twice as likely to get the exercise you need to keep your heart healthy -- and when you get that exercise, your risk of death from heart disease drops by half, according to the study.
Staying positive can also slash your levels of inflammation and stress hormones and even help you to make other healthy changes -- including the changes to your diet that will help keep your heart strong.
A positive attitude can even help you to sleep better.
If on the other hand you're negative or depressed, you're less likely to get any kind of activity at all, and more likely to pick up unhealthy habits -- including drinking and smoking.
I know staying positive is a challenge when you're fighting off a potentially deadly disease. Just remember that you don't have to fight this battle alone.
Turn to your family and friends for help and support. And don't forget the power of prayer to give you a little extra strength and calm when you need it most.