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Having an optimistic partner could help prevent dementia

While being optimistic can benefit your own well-being in a great number of ways, a new study shows that having a positive state of mind may contribute to the health of our partner too.

The results of the new research, which looked at 4,500 heterosexual couples over the age of 50, indicate that having an optimistic partner may stave off the risk factors leading to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and cognitive decline as you grow old together.

As the research highlights, an optimistic partner may encourage eating a salad or work out together to develop healthier lifestyles. For example, if you quit smoking or start exercising, your partner is close to following suit within a few weeks and months.

The study followed couples from the Health and Retirement Study for up to eight years. The research team found a potential link between being married to an optimistic person and preventing the onset of cognitive decline, thanks to a healthier environment at home.

But with all of its benefits, is optimism something that can be prescribed? Well, according to a co-author of the study, while there is a genetic component to optimism, there is also evidence to suggest that it’s a trainable quality — all it takes is the will to change.

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