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8 Unexpected Benefits Of Love That Make It Essential For Everyone

8 Unexpected Benefits Of Love That Make It Essential For Everyone

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.

1 – Love Boosts Your Immune System

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.

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2 – Love Improves Your Overall Fitness Level

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.

3 – Love Could Improve Your Lifespan

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.

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4 – Love Is Good For The Skin

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.

5 – Love Is Good For The Heart

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.

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6 – Love Is A Natural Pain Reliever

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.

7 – ‘Making’ Love Regulates Your Menstrual Cycle

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.

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8 – Love Improves Your Mental Health

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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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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