The phrase 'happy wife, happy life' is a common one which implies one's happiness lies in seeing their partner. Well, it could be more than a coffee mug quote. Researchers have found that those who are optimistic contribute to the health of their partners and stave off the risk factors leading to Alzheimer's disease, dementia and cognitive decline as they grow old together.
Study co-author William Chopik, who is Assistant Professor from Michigan State University, said, "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. An optimistic partner may encourage eating a salad or working out together to develop healthier lifestyles. Suppose you quit smoking or start exercising, your partner is close to following suit within a few weeks and months.
Adds Chopik, "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"
The researchers found a potential link between being married to an optimistic person and preventing the onset of cognitive decline, thanks to a healthier environment at home. It also indicated that when couples recall shared experiences together, richer details from the memories emerge.
"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," concludes Chopik.
With inputs from IANS