We all know that nothing beats that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you’re head over heels in love. No matter what your age, whenever that special someone looks your way, you still get those same butterflies-in-the-stomach that you did at school, when the person whose initials were scrawled all over your exercise books brushed past you in the corridor. Its no surprise then, that being in love is good for you; your physical and mental wellbeing thrive on it, and here are a few reasons why.
Release the Tension
Whilst it is natural for couples to argue, research suggests that companionship actually helps reduce the risk of depression, and results in fewer depressive episodes in people who have a history of mental illness. Embracing someone special with a hug lowers the person’s blood pressure, and has a calming effect that deters stress for both partners. Fundamentally, having someone to talk openly with of an evening allows for the stresses of the day to be dealt with, even if that means just getting any grumbles off of your chest. Lending an ear to the person you love shows that you care, and offers support in the most obvious, and beneficial way.
So love is obviously good for your mental wellbeing, combating stress and decreasing anxiety. This is true, but being in love has also been proven to boost your immune system, meaning your overall physical health can be improved. A study conducted by Ronald Glazer and Jan Kiecolt-Glaser suggested that couples who resolve their disputes more quickly had a higher level of immune functioning immediately afterwards, than those who’s conflicts were maintained. Studies continue to take place into the link between relationships and a person’s immunity to illnesses, with a suggestion that regular sexual activity leads to a more efficiently working immune system. Which leads me onto…
That warm fuzzy feeling we mentioned? Not a myth. In fact, studies have shown that being in love improves cardiovascular health by depleting stress. Sexual activity also raises a person’s heart rate to the same level as when they partake in some light exercise; have fun while you get fit? That’s our kind of workout.
When we’re in love, cognitive performance improves, putting whole new spin on the phrase, ‘smart is sexy.’ In one study, participants were able to perform better on difficult tasks when the name of their loved one was displayed to them on a computer screen. Also, being around someone whose conversation you find engaging shapes and inspires discussion, bringing forth new ideas. After all, we learn from each other, and are more inclined to take an interest in the same things as those who we care deeply about.
So there you have it. Being in a loving relationship is clearly a good thing all round. We are social beings, meaning that companionship is a basic need; its how we survive and thrive in the world. Obviously being in love leaves us vulnerable to heartache, sometimes fraught with worry and occasionally just down right frustrated, but the pros of what we can get out of love outweigh those things; our relationships are fundamentally what make life worth living, driving the decisions we make for ourselves.