How Love Makes You Happier and Healthier

How Love Makes You Happier and Healthier |Happy Living“Love is a choice you make everyday.”
(Gary Chapman)

One wonderful aspect of my work here at Happy Living is making new connections with inspiring people who love and live health and wellbeing. Our guest writer today is one such person. Jennifer Landis transformed herself from a chubby, awkward adolescent living a sedentary lifestyle and eating a bad diet into a self-described health nut, avid yogi, runner, wife and mom. Her healthy living blog, Mindfulness Mama, helps you find inner peace – even when you can’t find your keys. In today’s post, Jennifer shares three wonderful benefits of love.

Love is wonderful, don’t you think? Anyone who has experienced unconditional love will agree. A partner who’s by your side — in sickness and in health, for better and worse — can change habits and life outlooks significantly, often to the point of improving health and happiness! There are several fascinating ways that love makes you happier and healthier, and here are three of the most significant:

Love Fights Stress.

Stress is, unfortunately, a common condition, and research shows that people in love experience less of it. A study from the University of North Carolina linked couples who hugged regularly to reduced stress levels and improved mood, thanks to the high levels of oxytocin present when couples hug.

The same study, which examined the bodily response of 59 premenopausal women before and after warm contact with their husbands or partners, also found that women have reduced blood pressure after hugging their partners. This is scientific proof that caring behavior is incredibly powerful. Oxytocin released with physical contact, however small the amount, does absolutely help to reduce anxiety and stress.

Americans feel 44% more stressed out than they did five years ago, and that stress can lead to a multitude of health issues, including high blood pressure, headaches, sexual dysfunction and problems sleeping.  As a result, when combatting stress, the power of love positively impacts your body. A Harvard study found that married men who felt loved by their spouses experienced 50% less heart issues despite comparable risk factors with the group of married men who did not feel loved.

Love Enables You to Live Longer.

Did you know people in love have a higher life expectancy? UCLA studies have concluded that unmarried people have higher death rates, likely because married couples positively influence each other’s lifestyles. For example, if one partner is into fitness, it’s likely that the other will at least be somewhat involved in fitness as well, as a result of their partner’s keen interest rubbing off on them. Married, heterosexual men are also 100 to 200 percent less likely to die of issues related to heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide than those who are not married.

Love Gives You a Teammate for Life.

Healthy relationships involve a lot of teamwork, with each partner watching out for the other’s best interest and vice versa. This extends into a variety of fields — from work to exercise — and can help inspire good habits! A study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness revealed that after 12 months, 43 percent of married individuals who exercised separate from their partner dropped their fitness routine, compared to only 6.3% of those married individuals who sweat it out together.

With all of this in mind, it’s fairly simple to see why people in love experience happiness and healthiness at a higher rate. What’s not to love about love?

You can follow Jennifer on twitter @JenniferELandis and read more of her writing at Mindfulness Mama.

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