Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp 511–519

The Promise of Well-Being Interventions for Improving Health Risk Behaviors

Authors

    • Department of Society, Human Development, and HealthHarvard School of Public Health
  • Loryana L. Vie
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of California, Riverside
    • Department of Society, Human Development, and HealthHarvard School of Public Health
Tobacco Use and Lifestyle (HA Tindle, Section Editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s12170-012-0273-x

Cite this article as:
Boehm, J.K., Vie, L.L. & Kubzansky, L.D. Curr Cardiovasc Risk Rep (2012) 6: 511. doi:10.1007/s12170-012-0273-x

Abstract

Accumulating evidence suggests that positive psychological well-being (e.g., optimism, life satisfaction) is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. One possible explanation for this association is that individuals with greater positive psychological well-being tend to engage in health behaviors that are relevant to the prevention of cardiovascular disease (e.g., exercising, eating a healthy diet, avoiding smoking). If positive psychological well-being actually precedes and induces healthy behaviors such that it is a true causal factor, then well-being may be a useful target for intervention. In this article, we briefly review evidence linking well-being with health behaviors. We also describe possible strategies to enhance well-being (e.g., expressing gratitude, mindfulness meditation) and evaluate how effective such strategies may be for fostering behavior change.

Keywords

Cardiovascular disease Positive psychological well-being Optimism Gratitude Positive emotions Health behaviors Physical activity Exercise Diet Food consumption Cigarette smoking Behavior change Intervention

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012