Here’s a startling statistic…
It’s estimated that someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds.
That comes out to about 795,000 strokes a year.
The good news, however, is that fewer people die from stroke these days.
The fatality rate of stroke in the U.S. has declined 38% since 2000.
We can thank advancements in medical care… namely, understanding the critical need for a quick response to symptoms.
But simply surviving a stroke doesn’t mean a person is out of the woods.
After having a stroke, that person is 15 times more likely to have a second one.
And for many folks, the second one is especially bad.
A second stroke is 50% more likely to kill you.
So while it’s important to take steps to reduce the risk of an initial stroke, it’s positively imperative that folks do everything in their power to prevent a second one.
New research out of New York University has uncovered a simple way to do just that.
And it’s reason enough to be optimistic.
Change Your Mind
High blood pressure is one of the leading contributors to stroke risk.
Making positive lifestyle choices (such as quitting smoking and eating healthier) are surefire ways to reduce blood pressure.
But there are much easier options…
There is a growing body of evidence that shows we can reduce blood pressure and decrease the risk of stroke… just by thinking about it.
This isn’t some illusion. The power of positive thinking has been shown to play a significant role in cardiovascular health.
And this is proving to be particularly true among those who suffer a stroke.
In a randomized controlled study, researchers found that those who felt positive after being released from the hospital were less likely to suffer a second stroke.
One year after being discharged, the patients were reevaluated. Those who said they felt positive all had reduced blood pressure.
On the other hand, those who were less optimistic about their future health had noticeably raised blood pressure one year later and increased risk of a second stroke.
The study’s lead author concluded, “This perception that you can protect yourself from another stroke reflects the construct of self-efficacy, or a belief in one’s ability to achieve a specific outcome.”
In other words, if you believe that you’re taking charge of your health and making healthy decisions, the body reflects that positive outlook.
And if you have an overall negative outlook, the body reflects that as well.
That’s not to say that you can offset a lifetime of poor health choices just by thinking positive… but it is possible to give yourself a brighter future with a brighter outlook.
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