The Grapevine

Happy Wife, Happy Life: Study Finds An Optimistic Partner Is Good For Our Health

Ever heard of the phrase “happy wife, happy life?” Turns out, science now supports it too because a recent study found that those who contribute optimistically to their partners have a lower risk of neurodegenerative conditions, which then just leads to an even happier life as they grow old together.

Happy Wife, Happy Life

The study was made by researchers from Michigan State University, who found that a couple can help stave off the risks of developing conditions such as dementia, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s, given that they live a happy lifestyle with their partners. The findings are published in the Journal of Personality.

"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,” William Chopik, assistant professor of psychology and co-author of the study, said.

For example, a partner who is optimistic is more likely to encourage you to do healthy activities such as exercising, going out for walks or even just eating a healthier diet. In fact, research found that a partner who commits to a healthy choice would have their partner follow suit within a few weeks or months.

“We found that when you look at the risk factors for what predicts things like Alzheimer's disease or dementia, a lot of them are things like living a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy weight and physical activity are large predictors. There are some physiological markers as well. It looks like people who are married to optimists tend to score better on all of those metrics,” Chopik added.

Furthermore, there are also studies that show people can change, given that they can engage in things that would encourage that, such as having an optimistic partner. And in any case, a healthy dose of optimism is never a bad thing, especially if you’re sharing it with someone you plan on spending your life with.

Happy couple Four subtle signs of a healthy relationship, from pronoun use to different spending habits. Photo courtesy of Pexels, Public Domain

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