Optimistic women are 30 percent less likely to die from heart disease, according to a new Womens Health Initiative study, so thinking positively is even more crucial as you get older. How do you make that a habit?

Study author Hilary A. Tindle, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, recommends making time for simple pleasures like watching movies and planning vacations.

Another approach: Learn how to become more hopeful by meditating, exercising, building closer friendships, and—if you need it—getting therapy, says Anthony Scioli, PhD, a professor of psychology at Keene (New Hampshire) State College and co-author of the new book Hope in the Age of Anxiety ($29.95; Oxford University Press).