Are you in love and in a healthy romantic relationship with someone? If yes, consider yourself blessed! Beyond the obvious advantage of having a date for Valentine’s Day, love can also do wonders for your physical, emotional and mental health.
“Apart from keeping you inspired, love can also help you live longer in many ways. The list of its health perks includes lowering your stress hormones, boosting your immune system and preventing you from developing many diseases, like depression and heart disease,” says Dr. Nicky Montoya, president of MediCard Philippines.
Love can lower your risk for many diseases. When you’re in a healthy and intimate relationship with someone, you experience less stress, which in turn improves your cardiovascular health. Various studies also reveal that people in a committed and long-term relationship live longer than their single counterparts. Additionally, they experience fewer heart attacks, have lower cancer rates, and get pneumonia less frequently. Men in particular are more likely to give up smoking and alcohol abuse when they marry.
Love can boost your immune system. A study from the University of Iowa claimed that ovarian cancer patients with a strong sense of connection to others and satisfying relationships developed more white blood cells that kill cancerous cells compared to those without social ties. A separate study from eHarmony Labs also revealed that happy couples who engage in positive conflict resolution have higher functioning immune systems than those who retreat from the conversation or stonewall each other.
Love can reduce your pain. The saying, “love heals pain,” is not just a metaphor. Researchers who studied a group of people exposed to electrical shocks found out that holding someone’s hand can ameliorate the pain and the perception of pain. The married females in the study decreased their feeling of pain even more when they held their husband’s hands.
Love can regulate your menstrual cycle. If you are suffering from chronic painful periods, it may be the time to ditch the painkiller and get a warm body to cuddle. A study from Planned Parenthood revealed that women who have sex at least once a week have higher levels of estrogen and are more likely to have regular menstrual cycles than those who have sex less frequently.
Love can keep your skin glowing. The healthy glow of love has a scientific explanation. When you have a happy love life, your stress levels are lower. In turn, your body produces less stress hormones, which could trigger nasty pimple and acne breakouts.
Love can help improve your mental functioning. Ever wonder why people who are in love are more lively and productive? It’s because love gives them a rush of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with optimism, energy and a sense of well-being. A study from Rutgers University found out that people who simply look at the photo of their loved one had an increase in dopamine activity. Talk about high on love!
“As high stress levels are the primary causes of many chronic diseases, it makes sense that those who are in love are healthier and are more likely to live longer simply because they are happier and more satisfied with their lives. That’s why it’s healthy to fall in love and have someone love you back,” says Dr. Montoya.
Happy in love? Don’t forget to take good care of your heart. The MediCard Lifestyle Center offers diverse medical and specialty services to keep your heart healthy, including cardiology consultation, ECG and 2D echo tests, and stress management counselling. For more information, visit its website at http://medicardphils.com.