Love is not only essential for happiness, but has also been shown to reap health benefits.
Be it romantic love, marriage, or a vigorous sex life, love has been shown to ease all sorts of ills.
Recent research has shown that male mice with female companions live longer and are also able to reproduce at a much older age.
Despite having no real direct physical effect, merely having love and companionship can keep you healthy and fit.
Marriage and Lifespan
The fact that married men live longer than single men is well known. Men who are married are twice as likely to see a doctor and are more likely to see that doctor sooner.
Married couples generally have more of an income flow. While money isnâ€™t the only thing thatâ€™ll make you happy, those with better incomes are able to afford better healthcare and healthier food.
Also, those who are married are less likely to use alcohol, less likely to commit suicide, less likely to have accidents, and less likely to suffer from medical problems such as heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Generally, married couples have stronger immune systems than those who are single. Mental disorders like schizophrenia and depression are also lower in marriages.
Benefits of Love in General
Love in all contexts has been shown through research to have health benefits. Those who report feeling loved by someone experience:
- Fewer heart problems
- Lower cholesterol
- Less overall pain
- Fewer headaches
- A stronger immune system
This love can come from marriage, dating or a strong friendship.
Women who hug have healthier hearts and lower blood pressure. Research from the University of North Carolina found that women have lower levels of cortisol if they hug.
Long-term snuggling has the same effect as blood pressure medication. No wonder hugging feels so good.
Sex has been found to have numerous health benefits. Those who have regular sex will have:
- Lower blood pressure
- Lowered stress
- Higher immunity
- Burned calories
- Better cardiovascular health
- Pain reduction
- Lowered prostate cancer risk
- Stronger pelvic muscles
- Better sleep
- Better sense of smell
- Less depression
- Better bladder control
- Better teeth
While love is fantastic for health, bad relationships can be very harmful. Hostility and dominant behavior has been shown to harden the arteries around the heart. Divorces, difficult parents and unstable friends can create stress.
Stress can cause all sorts of health problems like backaches, insomnia, increased cancer risk, menstrual problems, fertility problems, heart disease, sexual problems, headaches, gastrointestinal disorders, lower immune system and skin problems.
Dealing with Relationship Stress
The best way to deal with relationship stress is to remain calm. If the relationship is not essential, you might want to end the relationship.
But if you are unable to end the relationship, you must manage your emotions. If you are feeling depressed, focus on energizing yourself by speeding up your activities.
If you are feeling angry, get some caffeine and try to slow down your activities to a crawl if possible. Your goal should be to maintain a stable balance of emotions. Also, try to limit your time with the unhealthy relationship if possible.
Another way to handle relationship stress is to remember that everyone is human and that your relationship partner might not realize what he or she is doing. Try talking things through.