Loving the Benefits of Love
It’s pretty safe to say that we all love a little love. Whether it’s loving a partner, family member, friend, or beloved pet, we all deserve recognition and that warm fuzzy feeling.
Did you know that love can be good for your health? That’s right! Read on for the surprising (or not-so-surprising) benefits of L.O.V.E.
Love Makes you Feel Happy
Whether you’re falling in love for the first time or looking lovingly at your cat and feeling that familiar old feeling, both produce dopamine, which is a “feel good” chemical your body produces. You’ll notice that you tend to feel positive and appreciated.
When you’re in a new relationship, you also experience a spike in the stress hormone cortisol and a drop in concurrent, which is a mood regulator. That’s why it can feel like you’re out of control (or at least your heart/emotions are) and can act out of the ordinary or feel like you’re head over heels with little choice. This passion mixed with feelings of anxiety, obsession, and nervousness gives us those initial crazy butterflies.
Even when you’ve been with someone a long time, you still get dopamine from feeling loved. Those other hormones will return to normal, though, so you can relax and settle into your bond.
Love Relieves Feelings of Stress and Anxiety
Even after the infamous “honeymoon phase” fades away, your brain produces oxytocin, also known as the bonding hormone. This can give you happy feelings and be good for your health.
With family members, pets, and partners, this can be what you feel when you are comfortable and feel stable in your relationship. Just being in their presence when they give us positive interactions and make us think they care can reduce your stress levels.
When you’re away from those you love, just thinking about them or even talking about/to them can release oxytocin and put you at ease. We all struggle with feelings of loneliness, and feeling love and connection to someone or something can also help us fight anxiety. According to the University of Texas Health program, “MRI scans have shown that those who are involved in stable, long-term relationships had greater activity and activation in the part of the brain that is responsible for the reward/pleasure response and less activation in the area of the brain associated with anxiety.”
Love Makes you Better at Self-Care
We all know that taking care of yourself can be a struggle. Life can be hard, and making sure you get what you need, whether that’s time doing something you enjoy or getting enough meals in a day. When you feel loved or love someone, it can be an exchange of caring that pushes you to take care of yourself. We often shrug off our own needs, so it’s great to have that extra boost.
Whether you have a dog that encourages you to get outside and take walks or a partner who is nagging you to get that weird bump on your skin checked out, you’ll have more encouragement to see your own value.
Love Can Lengthen Your Life
Love, but particularly love between a committed couple, can help you live longer. This is possible by lowering your risk for heart attack, cancer, and pneumonia.
Feeling loved can keep the doctor away because it’ll boost your immune system and make you overall healthier. You’ll may also recover from illness quicker.
We all are scared of heartbreak, and not all love or relationships are healthy. However, remember to love often and show those you love that you appreciate and care for them. You can give them a health boost and make them feel good. Give your dog some pets and praise, kiss your partner on the cheek, hug family members tightly.
To foster loving relationships, here are four tips:
- Get treatment if you’re depressed, anxious, or suffering otherwise with your mental health. While there likely isn’t a quick fix, this can help your relationships. Friday offers $0 mental health counseling appointments on most plans. You can also get mental health medications prescribed (coverage depends on your insurance plan). Find out what mental health resources you have as a Friday member.
- Practice your communication skills and learn how to handle conflict. Here is an excellent guide to that.
- Spend time with and do things that are challenging/exciting with your loved one. Check out these date ideas.
- Celebrate each other’s successes, even if it’s a short verbal comment.
Friday is here for you. If you have questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact the Friday Care Crew or email firstname.lastname@example.org.