Love will be in the air this weekend. Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to spend time with our nearest and dearest and celebrate our loving relationships. However, it is the relationship between love and your health that is particularly interesting, as it appears that love itself has many physical and psychological benefits.
Loving Couples Live Longer
Research shows that couples who are in a healthy, committed and loving relationship experience less stress as they enjoy each other’s companionship. Less stress in a relationship promotes well-being and enables couples to live longer. It’s also possible that the act of being in love and married to someone can help curb bad habits such as heavy drinking and smoking – habits that a single person might have previously over-indulged in.
Being in love means that less cortisol, the stress hormone, is released in the body. If your body is low on stress, then it will have an all-round positive impact on your cardio health. Put simply, if you’re in love then your heart will be in better shape – what a fantastic Valentine’s Day message!
Love Gives You Better Skin
You can thank love once again for the lack of stress and cortisol roaming your body. Excess stress is responsible for causing skin breakouts and pimples. However, when love neutralises cortisol in the body it also gives your skin a healthy, loving glow.
Keep Physically Fit
Research shows that love can help you to meet your fitness goals. Couples who choose to exercise together push themselves 12-15% harder in a workout session. Also, two thirds of couples who work out together are able to stick with their exercise programs, whilst over half of single people give up their routine after a year. However, you don’t actually need to be in love to take advantage of this health benefit. Single people can easily buddy up with someone and enjoy the mutual encouragement and companionship that an exercise chum can provide.
The Benefit Of Bear Hugs
The University of North Carolina carried out research which discovered that loving bear hugs are excellent for your health. Physical loving contact between two people, whether lovers, or just a friend or family member releases oodles of oxytocin into our bodies during a hug. Oxytocin is otherwise known as the love hormone. It is responsible for making us feel secure and trusting towards each other and lowers the cortisol levels, blood pressure and heart rates in a person.
Don’t forget about your mum this Valentine’s Day! Participants in a study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that volunteers who had received a hug from their mothers registered lower stress levels thirty minutes later!
Love And Your Mental Wellbeing
In chemical terms, love is a complex set of hormones that are released into the body. A chemical called dopamine can be found in the brains of love-struck couples during the early ‘honeymoon’ stage of their relationship. This has the effect of triggering an intense rush of pleasure and can also be responsible for increased energy levels in people. There’s no doubt about it, love is good for you.
Valentine’s Day is fantastic for those who have been struck by Cupid’s arrow. However, it can also be a time where many can feel unusually out of sorts if they feel they don’t experience much love in their life. The NHS is able to help those who may be experiencing symptoms of loneliness and depression and can refer you to counselling or CBT therapy.