Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp 511–519

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

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


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.


Cardiovascular diseasePositive psychological well-beingOptimismGratitudePositive emotionsHealth behaviorsPhysical activityExerciseDietFood consumptionCigarette smokingBehavior changeIntervention

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Society, Human Development, and HealthHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of California, RiversideRiversideUSA