Happy partners can make you live happier for longer.
According to new research, having a healthy relationship with an optimistic partner lowers the chance of getting age-related health disorders like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and cognitive decline.
According to a Michigan State University study, partners with a positive perspective provide support and set an example for their companions, increasing their longevity and sense of well-being.
William Chopik, co-author of the study and assistant professor of psychology. “They may motivate us to exercise, eat better, or remember to take our medications. When your companion is upbeat and healthy, it can help you achieve comparable results in your own life.”
To develop better lifestyles, an upbeat companion might suggest eating a salad or working out together. If you quit smoking or start exercising, for example, your partner is likely to follow suit in a matter of weeks or months.
“We discovered that a lot of the risk factors for things like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are things like living a healthy lifestyle,” Chopik explained. “Maintaining a healthy weight and engaging in regular physical activity are significant factors. There are also some physiological indicators. People who are married to optimists appear to perform better on all of these measures.”
The study, co-authored by MSU graduate student Jeewon Oh and Eric Kim, a research scientist in the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, followed roughly 4,500 heterosexual couples from the Health and Retirement Study for up to eight years.
Chopik explained. “While there is some data on people being jealous of their partner’s good traits or having negative emotions to someone attempting to control you, there is also research that suggests that being optimistic is linked to seeing your relationship in a favorable perspective.”
According to the findings, when couples recall shared events together, they recall more details from the memories. Google’s tearjerker Super Bowl ad “Loretta,” in which an elderly man uses his Google Assistant to assist him to remember facts about his late wife, is a recent example, according to Chopik.
Chopik explained. “The Google commercial is based on science. Positive parts of their connection and personality were among the recollections that were recalled.”
Is optimism, with all of its advantages, something that can be prescribed? While optimism has a genetic component, there is some evidence that it may be learned, according to Chopik.
“Studies demonstrate that people have the ability to change their personalities if they engage in activities that cause them to change,” Chopik added. “Part of it stems from a desire to change. There are many programs that claim to help you increase your optimism.”
Everyone benefits from a good dose of optimism from their relationship in some way. A spouse can nonetheless fulfill the thirst of those who see the glass as half-empty. For those who believe that the glass is half-full? Their cup is overflowing.