The quality of life, especially at an advanced age, depends a lot on the partner’s state of mind. The more optimistic he is, the better his life will be. This adage has been supported by research by scientists at Michigan State University (USA), who say that optimistic partners contribute to the overall health of their spouses by helping them avoid risks of cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The results of this study were published in the Journal of Personality.
William Chopik, assistant professor of psychology and co-author of the study, advances his theory: “We spend a lot of time with our partners. They can encourage us to exercise, eat healthy, or remind us to take our medications. When your partner is optimistic and healthy, this can translate into similar results in your own life. In fact, you have a brighter future by living longer and avoiding cognitive disease. ”
Over 4,000 couples studied
Jeewon Oh, a graduate student at Michigan State University and co-author of the article, and Eric Kim, a researcher in the department of social and behavioral sciences at Har Chan’s TH Chan School of Public Health, studied 4,500 heterosexual couples as part of the health and retirement study for up to eight years. They found that a happier home environment, created by a hopeful partner, prevented the onset of cognitive decline.
According to William Chopik, partners of optimistic people tend to follow their example. Even if there are cases of people jealous of their partner’s positive qualities or reacting defensively to domination, other research shows that optimists help their partner to see their relationship in a good light.
Researchers have found that when couples remember the moments they shared, they reveal richer details. A good example of this is Google advertising in the last Superbowl, showing an elderly man using the Google Assistant to help him remember details about his wife.
William Chopik points out that real life works in much the same way, pleasant memories dominate the thoughts of individuals in their relationship with their optimistic partner.
Learn to be optimistic
While the evidence suggests that optimism is an inherited trait, William Chopik believes that people can be trained to be optimistic. If looking on the bright side isn’t your thing, don’t despair.
“There are studies showing that people have the power to change their personality, as long as they engage in things that make them change, and that is partly because they want to change. There are also intervention programs that suggest that you can develop optimismSays William Chopik.
In conclusion, being optimistic has a healing and nourishing effect on family life and the health of partners.
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