The pursuit of a happy, healthy relationship is something many of us can relate to. Finding the right partners who will remain committed to us through the years is incentive enough. But there’s more good news. There are many health benefits of being in love and in a happy relationship.
What are The Health Benefits of Being in Love and in a Happy Relationship?
Happy relationships encourages “happy hormones”
While love is always associated with the heart, the brain actually has a lot to do with it.
When we experience positive things, such as enjoying the company of a person, the brain signals the release of a variety of hormones that affect our mood. One examples is dopamine, which gives us a natural high, hence its nickname the “happy hormone”.
The brain also releases the “cuddle” hormone: oxytocin, which gives people a sense of comfort and intimacy necessary for bonding. This cocktail of hormones floods our body resulting in people being sunnier and more upbeat.
Happy relationships can reduce stress
The health benefits of being in love include reduced stress.
At the beginning, people in love experience anxiety and exhibit erratic behavior, which research attributes to release of biochemicals such as stress hormone cortisol and mood-regulator serotonin.
However, these eventually ease over time. Oxytocin kicks in, making people feel calm and content with their partner, while dopamine may stay elevated may remain elevated during the relationship.
Happy relationships can improve mental health
Chronic stress or prolonged exposure to stressful situations is known to trigger or worsen mental health issues.
Since being in a loving and healthy relationship lowers stress and improves self-esteem, this leads to positive mental health outcomes.
Studies even show that men and women who have positive marriage experience are less prone to common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
Happy relationships can make the heart healthier
All those good feelings translate to overall physical well-being as less stress means the body is able to function normally. Among the primary beneficiaries is the heart.
The relaxed state of the body leads to slightly more dilated blood vessels and lower blood pressure.
Research has even shown that people in healthy and happy marriages are less prone to cardiovascular problems compared to single people. Another study noted that marriage can prevent heart disease.
Happy relationships can boost the immune system
Have you noticed how after experiencing a period of heightened stress whether from work or conflict we feel sluggish and even suffer a cold?
Studies show that people who are in supportive, positive relationships produce more oxytocin and may seem to bolster their immune system making.
This makes them less likely to get sick or succumb to negative effects of stress.
Another study found that women in love showed an increased activity of genes involved in viral protection. The study claimed that this is the body’s way of ensuring its protection from infections associated with intimate physical contact.
Happy relationships help us take better care of ourselves
Having a loving partner is also helpful for overall health simply because there is another person who will look out for your well-being.
Individuals are more likely to shrug off aches and pains than those in a relationship since your partner is more likely to urge you to seek medical help. It may come off as nagging or scolding but actually shows how the partner’s care.
This can help people avoid serious illnesses through early detection and proper and early medical intervention.
Aside from this, happy relationships and healthy relationships encourage healthful behavior, like quitting smoking and drinking.
Happy couples also report being able to sleep better because of their partners who are responsive to their needs.
Happy relationships can help us live longer
Take all of these together and it’s not a surprise that people who are in love generally outlive their single peers.
But those who are single should not fret because having supportive and loving friends and family are as good for your health as romantic relationships.
The key thing is to surround yourself with people who boost your mental health. Having stress-free, loving relationships, whether romantic or platonic, helps improve our quality of life—not to mention, its longevity.
Learn more about mental health and healthy relationships, here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.