To understand the health benefits of love in a relationship, it’s important to understand the meaning and definition of love. Love has so many meanings and interpretations. Countless people in the world struggle with defining what love really means to them.
Here is Wikipedia’s definition of love:
Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment.
Love is also a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection as well as ”the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.”
Love may also be described as actions towards others based on compassion, or as actions towards others based on affection.
Love may be understood as part of the survival instinct, a function to keep human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species.
The word love itself has a variety of meanings and interpretations, making it very difficult for many to describe. The health benefits of love, however, are easy to identify and much more obvious. In this article, I would like to focus on the positive health benefits of love in a healthy, loving situation.
Here are the three main health benefits of love…
1. Love produces positive emotions.
Love is known to bring about many positive emotions. Laughter is one of those emotions. Laughter is known to be healing to the soul and good for your mental well-being. As they say, “laughter is the best medicine.”
It’s a very powerful antidote to fight stress, conflict and pain both mentally and physically. Love also has the power to heal and renew ones mental, emotional and physical well being. Research shows that loving acts neutralize the kind of negative emotions that adversely affect immune, endocrine and cardiovascular function.
2. Love helps you live longer and fights disease.
There have been studies that show even patients who are diagnosed with cancer have recovered from cancer treatment faster when they had strong family connections. Also, those in loving partnerships recovered quicker or completely eliminated the cancer with no scientific explanation other than the fact the patient had great love and support from close family and friends.
The feeling of “butterflies in your stomach” is an actual physical reaction caused when our body responds to the strong attraction that is felt when one is “falling in love” or “in love” with someone else. Physically, your heart rate increases which causes increased blood flow to all parts of your body including your sexual organs. This actually has a positive effect on the mind and body.
3. Love keeps the doctor away.
Many studies prove that people in a loving, long-term relationship have longer average life spans than those that are not in a partnership. Typically, when you’re in a relationship, your partner cares about your health. Therefore, he or she will encourage you to watch your health and discourage bad habits such as smoking, doing drugs or working too much. No one who loves another person wants to see their partner sick.
“Endorphins are the key. According to the National Institute of Health, love triggers the hormone oxytocin which makes us feel good. It also lowers the levels of stress chemicals in our system. Physical contact like cuddles, hugs and kisses trigger the production of oxytocin,” said Jodi Prohofsky, Ph.D., L.M.F.T
I hope this article helps you understand that love has a great impact on our emotional and physical well-being. Falling in love and being in love are very positive activities. For singles that aren’t currently in a relationship, you can still experience the health benefits of love through sharing love with those that are close to you such as family and friends.
Make sure that you get your daily dose of hugs, affection, smiles and physical sexual activity whenever you can!
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 May 2012
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Experts, Y. (2012). 3 Ways that Love Helps Your Health. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 19, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/05/27/3-ways-that-loves-helps-your-health/