Happy senior couple

Can A Happy Spouse Keep You Healthy?

When it comes to finding happiness in life, many people think that they have to make everything in their life perfect. In other words, people want to have the perfect job, the perfect kids, the perfect phone, the perfect bank account balance, and so on and so forth. However, the real truth is that sometimes happiness can be found in the little things in life and may not be as complicated as many would like to believe it to be. In fact, a question was recently posed by researchers interested in psychology and human happiness that may prove just that.

These researchers found themselves asking not only what makes a person happy but whether or not happiness and health are intrinsically linked. Even further, they wanted to know if another valued person’s happiness could, in turn, improve a person’s health. So, a study was performed to determine the answer to one simple question that could have widespread implications to the bigger issues of health and happiness. That question is; Can a happy spouse keep you healthy?

The Happy Spouse StudyHappy senior couple

To find the answers to this question, researchers performed a study on married couples between the ages of 50 and 94. To simplify the study and eliminate any variables that may skew the study, this particular selected group was limited to heterosexual married couples only. Overall, there were around 2,000 couples that were included in the study. These participants were engaged in the study for the course of six years.

During those six years, researchers talked to the members of the couple individually. They asked them questions about their health, happiness, and the amount of exercise they got on a regular basis. The duration of the study was to give researchers a picture longer term health and happiness rather than just a good or bad day being representative of a person’s entire outlook on life, health, and happiness.

The Study Findings

When all of the answers and data were compiled, the study findings were quite clear. People who had a happy spouse reported themselves as being significantly healthier than those who did not have a happy spouse.

This was true across the board for both wives and husbands and was kept as a separate metric from personal or individual happiness. The correlation was clear, having a happy spouse corresponded with a person’s positive self-report of health.

It is important to keep in mind that the existence of a correlation does not necessarily mean that there is a cause and effect relationship between the two factors. The only fact found in this study is that the two, spousal happiness and individual health, often occur together.

What This Indicates About A Spouse’s Effect On HealthSmiley face

A happy spouse is likely to provide a great deal of positive emotional and social support to their partner. And they are more likely to get their partner involved in activities that have a positive impact on their partner’s health. This can include healthy eating habits, exercise and physical activity, and proper sleeping habits, among other healthy habits.

Additionally, there is the fact that having a spouse who is generally happy can make a person’s life significantly easier, even if other factors in life are difficult. Knowing that a partner is happy can help a person to avoid negative or self-destructive habits like eating poorly or engaging in drug or alcohol abuse. Avoiding such behaviors, of course, has a positive impact on a person’s overall health.

Happiness and health seem to be intrinsically linked. Though it may not be clear which one causes the other, the two clearly go hand-in-hand, even between spouses and life partners. So, if you have a happy spouse, count yourself lucky as your health may benefit from just this factor. And if you are that happy person, know that you and your spouse may both benefit from your happiness.