Maybe one of the most important things you can do with your life is figure out who you’re going to spend the rest of your life with. Well according to a study article published in the APA journal Health Psychology our choice of companion could improve and extend our health as well.
Previous studies have already found that being happy is a sign of a healthy life, but this new one by the American Psychological Association sought to see the health effects of interpersonal relationships.
The study took a survey of 1,981 middle-age heterosexual couples aged between 50 and 94 and examined happiness, self-rated health and physical activity over a six-year period.
The research found that people with happy spouses were much more likely to report better health over time. This occurred above and beyond the person’s own happiness.
“This finding significantly broadens assumptions about the relationship between happiness and health, suggesting a unique social link,” said William Chopik, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University and principal investigator of the study. “Simply having a happy partner may enhance health as much as striving to be happy oneself.”
Chopik gave some reasons for why this possibly happens including happy partners possibly offering stronger social support, happy people being likely involved in healthy activities (such as getting outside and doing stuff, and finally happy people just generally making life easier in general.
“Simply knowing that one’s partner is satisfied with his or her individual circumstances may temper a person’s need to seek self-destructive outlets, such as drinking or drugs, and may more generally offer contentment in ways that afford health benefits down the road,” Chopik said.
So there you have it, be thankful for that happy person in your life making things just that little bit easier.