Article by Conscious Life News
You’ve heard the saying “happy wife, happy life,” but did you know it’s been scientifically proven to ring true? Researchers at Michigan State University followed 4,500 heterosexual couples for up to eight years to collect data. They discovered a clear association between being married to an optimistic partner and having a reduced risk of developing dementia, cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s disease into old age.
The researchers suggested that living with an optimistic partner makes you more likely to live a healthier lifestyle, which may lend reason to the connection. Co-author of the study, William Chopik, explained, “We spend a lot of time with our partners. They might encourage us to exercise, eat healthier or remind us to take our medicine. When your partner is optimistic and healthy, it can translate to similar outcomes in your own life. You actually do experience a rosier future by living longer and staving off cognitive illnesses.”
He continued, “There’s a sense where optimists lead by example, and their partners follow their lead. While there’s some research on people being jealous of their partner’s good qualities or on having bad reactions to someone trying to control you, it is balanced with other research that shows being optimistic is associated with perceiving your relationship in a positive light.”
Optimism is associated with greater physical and mental health, and one reason why could be linked to its role in promoting better sleep. In a study of 3,548 people, those who were the most optimistic enjoyed higher quality sleep, hinting at the importance of a positive outlook in getting a good night’s rest. The ability to be optimistic has also been linked to a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. Optimism allows for better immune responsiveness, lower levels of inflammatory markers, and higher levels of heart rate variability, among other benefits.
If you struggle with optimism, there are ways you can learn to be more optimistic. For more info, check out this article.