A smiling soul isn’t just fun to be around-it has greater implications.
Anyone who has lived with a perpetually crabby partner knows it can be truly draining. Living with someone who is blissfully happy, or at least content, definitely sounds like a better deal. But new research is telling us that it may make for more than just pleasant days. You may live longer, if your better half is in a good mood.
A study published in Psychology Today has found that your spouses’ satisfaction with life can be an even better predictor of your mortality than your own life satisfaction.
“The findings underscore the role of individuals’ immediate social environment in their health outcomes,” said study author Olga Stavrova, a researcher at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.
“Most importantly, it has the potential to extend our understanding of what makes up individuals’ ‘social environment’ by including the personality and well-being of individuals’ close ones,” she added.
The study examined data from about 4,400 couples over the age of 50 living in the United States.
Participants reported their life satisfaction over time. They also reported on various factors hypothesized to be related to their mortality such as how much their partner supported them, and the frequency of their physical activity.
The results were striking. As Strova pointed out, if your partner is basically depressed and wants to spend each evening eating chips in front of the TV, well, that’s tough. That’s likely how your evening will be, as well. Hard on the heart.
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