Positive Power

Researchers explore link between good health and good attitude
10/14/2004 -- The NIH this year spent an estimated $149 million to fund 44 grants for research into the connection between positive thinking and physical health, USA Today reports. Research previously has focused on how "negative feelings," such as anxiety, depression, and stress, affect physical health; the most recent NIH grants, however, encourage researchers to specifically explore optimism's impact on patients' physical well being. Although some researchers have noted that the research is difficult because there are no "defined scales" for measuring happiness, one grant recipient at the University of Wisconsin-Madison already has reported that individuals with "higher levels of well-being have lower cardiovascular risk, lower levels of stress hormones, and lower levels of inflammation." USA Today notes that the NIH is expected to award $153 million for such research in 2005. >> Read More at USAToday.com

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