Anyone who’s ever had a stress headache or a case of butterflies in the stomach has experienced the mind-body connection firsthand. But the idea of someone else’s state of mind affecting your body sounds like the stuff of science fiction. Hollywood screenwriters should take their cue from researchers, because that’s exactly what can happen in long-term romantic partnerships, according to a new study. Researchers found that having a happy spouse appears to be associated with better health among middle-aged and older adults. Exactly how your spouse’s mood might affect your health isn’t known, but existing research (and common sense) suggests a number of explanations. A contented spouse may be more likely to be emotionally supportive, and we know that having social support is tied to good health. Engaging in good habits like regular exercise may come naturally to a happy partner (and a person who exercises regularly may be happier — it goes both ways!), and you may join the party and take good care of yourself. And simply knowing that your spouse is happy may make you less likely to engage in health-harming habits like heavy drinking or smoking.
Source: Happy You, Healthy Me? Having a Happy Partner Is Independently Associated With Better Health in Oneself.
“Happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It’s a choice.” Fran Weaver