Love is an amazing feeling. It combines fulfillment and excitement in one, and has that ‘feel good’ factor. Did you know, however, that love also provides health benefits? Researchers and experts have found that love can have a positive impact on your well-being and overall health. Learning about the health benefits of love will help remind you why it’s so important for you – and everyone – to have love in their life.
Scientific research has found that love has a positive impact on your immune system. Studies show that couples who are happy and in love have better functioning immune systems than those that don’t have love in their life. A specific study, conducted by Jan Kiecolt-Glaser and Ronald Glazer, found that couples who argue in a negative manner had poorly functioning immune systems, while those who argued in a more positive and loving manner had increased immune functions.
Many people have a difficult time exercising alone. Individuals who are in a loving relationship in which both parties enjoy exercising, are often more physically fit than those who are alone. In fact, a fitness trainer discovered that half of his clients who exercised alone quit after a maximum of one year. On the other hand, couples that he worked with stick to their routine for a much longer time. In addition, approximately 14% of those in a romantic relationship with their exercise partner push harder when training.
According to psychiatrist Joseph Hullett, MD, who works with OptumHealth, Behavioral Solutions, there have been many studies that have discovered that marriage can increase your lifespan. In fact, the CDC conducted a study in 2004 in which they found that married couples had the lowest early mortality rates. The study concluded that individuals in a happy, committed relationship tend to experience less stress than those who aren’t in a relationship. Men, in particular, often give up bad habits, such as smoking and heavy drinking, once they’re married.
As was mentioned, studies show that when you’re happy and in love, your stress level is reduced. Having lower stress levels means that you have a lower rate of free-floating cortisol in your body. When you’re stressed, you have higher cortisol levels, which is what causes acne and breakouts. Essentially, when you’re happy and in love, you’ll have minimal breakouts and pimples, thus healthier skin.
It is a natural instinct to find a happy, loving relationship. Those not in a relationship often stress more than those in a happy relationship, as you’ve learned. Again, stress levels are reduced in a loving relationship, and therefore, your heart is in a much better situation. In fact, Dr. Hullett found that individuals who are in a committed, healthy relationship have a lower risk of heart attacks and heart disease, due to not having the stress of being alone.
According to Dr. Hullett, a study was conducted where individuals were giving minimal electric shocks. In this study, those who were holding the hand of their significant other experience lower pain levels than those who were not. It is the comfort that you feel from your love’s hand that helps calm you down and reduce the level of pain you are feeling when you’re in a loving relationship.
Eric Braverman, MD notes a study conducted by Planned Parenthood in which women in happy, sexually active relationships were able to experience more regular menstrual cycles than women who were not. This is because weekly encounters of sexual activity increase the body’s estrogen levels, allowing the body to regulate more easily.
Dr. Braverman notes a study conducted at Rutgers University where individuals in a loving relationship had higher levels of dopamine in their brain activity. Dopamine is a natural chemical in your body that works with optimism, a sense of well-being, and energy. Essentially, dopamine is what’s responsible for that ‘feel good’ feeling that helps eliminate depression and other mental health issues.
Featured photo credit: Love via Shots of Insight
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