(WellnessPursuits.com) – Is your partner a “glass-half-full” person? Their positivity can be infectious, even if we sometimes find it charmingly annoying. As it turns out, being in a relationship with a positive person might actually benefit your health and wellbeing. Here are 4 reasons you need an optimist in your life.
1. An Optimist Might Teach You Optimism
Optimists have a particular knack for finding the silver linings in dark situations. Life handed you lemons? They’ll bring the sugar to help make lemonade! With their attitudes, they manifest amazing things into their lives. Being in a relationship with an optimist affords an opportunity to learn optimistic behavior and how to cultivate a positive mindset. Positivity can be a learned trait.
It requires a willingness to change, but being around a positive partner and their healthy habits might make us more positive by default. An optimistic partner might help us challenge negative self-talk and replace pessimistic thoughts with more positive ones, reinforcing optimistic behavior.
Although 25% of optimism is based on our genetics, it’s a behavior that can be learned, according to William J. Chopik, Ph.D., the lead author in a study from Michigan State University.
2. Optimists Usually Have Happier Relationships
Optimists tend to believe the best is possible in other people, in general, but especially in their partners. There is an almost innate trust that their partner is as invested in the relationship as they are and is supportive of them. And because they extend trust, they often receive it back in terms of trust and commitment.
Mutual trust and some learned optimism enhance the chances that you’ll both be happier in your relationship with an optimist. What’s more, the relationship is more likely to survive the ups and downs of life and last longer. And the study confirmed that optimistic people tend to view their relationships positively according to Dr. Chopik.
3. Sunny Outlooks May Lead to Better Memories
Optimistic people are more likely to have healthy lifestyle habits including eating well-balanced diets, making time for physical activity and taking prescribed medications. In relationships, they are likely to encourage their partners to adopt those healthy habits, too. And that might lower the risks of declining memory, foggy thinking, or difficulty in learning new things for you and your positive partner.
That’s what Dr. Chopik and his team found. Marriage to an optimist tends to reduce a person’s personal risk of declining brain health, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. People who were married to optimists also performed better on tests that analyzed different types of memory.
The researchers also found that couples with one optimistic partner tended to engage in “shared remembering.” When they recalled experiences together, they were more likely to remember more details and more positive aspects of both the relationship and their partner’s personality.
4. Healthy Weight? Your Partner Might Have You Tripping the Light Fantastic
It’s not just that optimistic people have healthy lifestyles, but that they often find fun, new energetic ways to express themselves. It seems only fitting they might bring their partners along on their adventures. As a result, optimists’ habits and lifestyles may have a huge impact on their partners’ health and weight. People who were married to optimists were more likely to have a healthy body weight and were more active and mobile, suffering less physical decline as well as less mental decline according to those same researchers at Michigan State University.
Maturing together with an optimist might not always be a walk in the park, but it’s a good bet that even through stormy times, a positive partner will find ways to go jumping in puddles while singing in the rain. An optimistic partner very well might increase your chances of being more optimistic yourself, being healthier physically and mentally, having a happier relationship, staying more active and mobile and even maintaining a healthier weight. And if your partner isn’t an optimist… maybe you are!
~Here’s to Your Healthy Pursuits!
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