Love is in the Air: 4 Health Benefits of Love

February is often associated with love, whether or not you choose to celebrate it with flowers, dinner, and all things pink and red, there are many health benefits of being in love. As Juliet says in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, “And yet I wish but for the thing I have; my bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep; the more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite."

Love is a great feeling of interest and pleasure. When you love someone, you want nothing but the best for them and in turn, you get an intense feeling of happiness. But being in a loving relationship also comes with positive health benefits.

4 Health Benefits of Love

1. Decreased stress, anxiety, and depression. Having someone to support you through life’s journey, especially tougher situations, helps you cope and and feel more secure. Results from studying MRI’s show an increase in the activity of the pleasure center in your brain when you are in a positive and long term relationship.

2. More physically active. The support of a good companion can help motivate you to engage in physical fitness. Having someone to go on a bike ride with, or to go to the gym with, makes working out more enjoyable. It’s especially helpful and uplifting when your partner compliments you, making you feel more self-confident.

Couple in love walking on the beach improving health.

3. Live a longer life. The health benefits of love include lowering blood pressure and risk for cardiovascular disease, fewer colds, and the ability to heal faster. Have you ever gone through a stressful situation and then got sick immediately after? If you are in a supportive relationship, you produce more oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, which makes it easier for your body to fight off the common cold.

4. Better self care. Married couples often encourage one another to get regular medical check ups. People often disregard or brush aside warning signs of illnesses, thinking it's not serious, but your partner will often notice symptoms sooner than you might have and persuade you to visit the doctor.

But what if I am not in love?

No need to worry, if you’re not in a committed relationship, you can still attain the health benefits of love. Having positive, close relationships with family members and friends can also keep you healthier. Studies have shown that the more a person gets hugged lowers their chances of getting sick. Additionally, you can still receive support and encouragement from family and friends.

For more information and tips on living a happy and health life, visit our Mental Health Resource Center.