I have some great news! Well, I have some great news if you are in love. (If you are not currently in love, I offer some great news for the future, when you are back in love.) Being in love is not only good for your Friday nights, it’s also good for your body, your mind, and your lifelong health! On the Huffington Post this week, Laura Schocker wrote a piece called “This is Your Body on Love.” I loved the piece and the hopefulness it gave me for the future. Let’s recap.
1. Your heart is healthier!
According to a recent research study in Finland, cardiac “events,” meaning heart attacks, heart disease, and blood clots, are much more common in unmarried men and women. Up to sixty-six percent more common, in fact. Obviously factors such as eating healthy and exercising regularly will also increase your chances of heart happiness, but it certainly won’t help to have a partner by your side, as well.
Furthermore, the magazine Psychological Science reported that “having a supportive spouse” was associated with hardened arteries, as well as the fact that happily married people are three times more likely to survive surgery after major heart operations.
2. You are less stressed out!
“Marriage has a dampening effect on cortisol responses to psychological stress,” Dario Maestripieri, a professor specializing in comparative human development at the University of Chicago, has said. Based on a study conducted at his university, people who were either married or in a committed relationship were simply less affected by stress. Which is wonderful!
3. You have a higher tolerance for pain!
I should specify that the pain tolerance relates to physical pain, but regardless, it is great news! According to another research study, when people were submitted to periods of medium to high heat-related pain, they were shown pictures of either their significant other, a picture of a person they found attractive, or a word puzzle that is often used to divert attention from pain. Overwhelmingly, the people who were shown pictures of their loved one experienced less pain as well as an activated reward system in their brain. That translates as not only were these subjects able to tolerate higher heat, but they also managed to make it a positive event. Crazy!
4. Happily married? You could live longer!
This is sad news for “single people,” but on average, happily married people can live for up to ten years longer than single people in their same age group. About thirty-two percent of married men live longer than single men, and around twenty-three percent of married women live longer than single women. Why so? Speculation implies that people in relationships are healthier, take better care of themselves (since they are thinking of more than just one person), and take fewer risks.
And I saved the best for last:
5. Sex is better!
And we all know frequent, healthy sex is the reason for a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, and an increased libido. Maybe we did not all know that, but we all do now. If that is not enough a reason, married people, on average, have more variety in their sex lives, as well as more frequency. (Surprised? Me too. But the facts don’t lie!)
Plus, sex makes everyone happy, which we should be okay to admit.
Happy living, happy loving!
February 27th, 2014