The Science Behind It
The study was conducted by graduate students from MSU and co-authored with a research scientist from the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health. The researchers followed almost 4,500 heterosexual couples for up to eight years. What they discovered is quite interesting. There is a potential link between being married to an optimistic partner and preventing the factors leading to cognitive decline due to living in a healthier environment at home.
Remembering Shared Experiences Improves Your Health
The research also found that when couples recall their shared experiences together, this also improves their health. A great example of this is Google’s latest Super Bowl Ad, “Loretta.” In the ad, an elderly man uses Google Assistant to recall his memories of his late wife.
An Optimistic Partner Leads by Example
One of the reasons why having an optimistic partner can be beneficial to your health is that they tend to lead by example. They may encourage you to work out together, to quit smoking, to eat a nutritious salad, to start traveling more, etc. Those shared experiences create a healthy environment where you are less likely to develop cognitive illnesses.
Can Optimism Be Taught?
While there is a heritable aspect to optimism, the real question remains: can optimism be prescribed? Fortunately for everyone less optimistic out there, many studies show that it is possible for people to change their personalities. The trick is wanting to change and engaging in activities that make you change your patterns of behavior and habits.
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