Ever feel like you’re addicted to being in love? You’re not alone. Studies have shown that love can do miraculous things to the body and even mimic symptoms of drug addiction. Butterflies in the stomach and elevated mood are just some of the things that happen to the brain and the body when one falls in love. But unlike other addictions, love can actually have great health benefits.
Check out these five impressive ways that falling in love can benefit your health.
Love can alleviate pain
A Stanford University study recently proved that being in love can help you endure pain, which could help how researchers in the future handle pain management in patients. Some of the candidates of the study were shown pictures of their romantic partners, while others were shown pictures of casual acquaintances. The study proved that viewing pictures of the romantic partners actually had analgesic properties, especially when compared to those who were just shown pictures of acquaintances. Moderate pain was reduced by approximately 40 percent in those that were shown the picture of loved ones, and intense pain was reduced by up to 15 percent.
Love can cure headaches
Oxytocin, which has been dubbed “the love hormone,” is the chemical that the brain releases when one is in love. It has been known to make people want to cuddle up next to their romantic partners, but recent research suggests it might also help in curing headaches, even some as severe as migraines. It is thought to inhibit pain receptors in the brain, which researchers are using to develop a new drug to help with headache relief that has no known side effects as of yet.
Love might decrease your risk of heart attack
A study from the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology could prove that living with a spouse can prevent heart attacks in men and women of various age groups. When studying acute cardiac instances over 10 years, the study showed a much higher rate of heart attacks and fatalities in the people who were unmarried or living alone. They also had a much higher rate of fatality in the month after leaving the hospital after their cardiac incident. The theory is that someone who is married may have better health habits leading up to the cardiac event to begin with, but also better care after an incident if they are living with a spouse.
Love can reduce blood pressure
It is also possible that the lowered risk of heart attack in married people is because love has been known to reduce blood pressure. A recent study showed blood pressure dropped in people when their spouses were present. The study has spurred more conversation about the effects of deep, meaningful relationships on one’s long-term health, but it’s certainly not the first. The National Institute of Health has long been studying the health benefits that love, cuddling and oxytocin have on the health of any love relationship, including a marriage or a relationship between a parent and child.
Love helps relieve stress
Researchers at the State University of New York at Stony Brook found being in a love relationship can reduce anxiety and help people cope with stress better than those without this meaningful support system. The Department of Health and Human Services issued a lengthy report showing that people in marriages tend to abuse substances less and find better ways to alleviate stress. The report showed that people in marriages tend to live longer, happier and healthier lives in general than those that aren’t in long-term love relationships.