How Does Love Affect Health and Wellbeing?

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Love can make us do things that we never would have otherwise. It can lead to different behaviors and feelings. But did you know that it can also be good for your overall health? Well, it can be good for you in a number of different ways. 

However, it can be difficult to navigate love and romance. Plenty of people have troubles with relationships for different reasons. If that sounds like you, check out BetterHelp for resources and information from mental health professionals about love, relationships, and mental health. You may find the answers you have been looking for. 

Whether you are having difficulty with love or in a great relationship, you may be curious what love can do for your brain and your health. There are a number of ways that it can be good for you physically, emotionally, and psychologically. 

Euphoric Excitement

Love can make us feel euphoric and giddy. This is because it effects the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is important for pleasure. It regulates many different functions to reinforce pleasurable activities like eating, socializing, listening to music, and more. 

Being in love releases dopamine, which can positively affect mood and gives us a feeling of euphoria.  Research shows that the cycle of love and dopamine may be an important aspect of our behavior around those we love. This may have a positive and long-term impact on our overall mood as well. 

Security

Love also influences oxytocin levels, which can make us feel secure and trusting with our partner. This can make us feel safe and attached to the one we love. Have you ever noticed that you feel more comfortable around the people you deeply care for and love? Well, the oxytocin may be partially to blame. 

In fact, oxytocin, the love hormone, is released in greater amounts with touching and kissing. Oxytocin can strengthen the connection between you and your partner as well. Research shows that it may even decrease your interest in other potential partners.  

Thoughts About Partner

If you have ever been in love, you may have noticed that you think about the one you love almost constantly. The dopamine release may influence this feature of love as well. However, it also involves other portions of your brain as well. The never-ending thoughts can lead you to spend time with your loved one even more, leading to a stronger bond. 

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These thoughts can make us feel happy throughout the day. They can also make us feel loved and accepted for who we are. This can have a huge impact on your overall wellbeing as well. 

Reduced Stress

Love may also lower your stress levels. The release of oxytocin and dopamine can help to boost mood and build resilience to stress. According to some research, love may help to reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. 

Better Physical Health

Love that develops into a committed long-term relationship can have a positive effect on your physical health. It may help to reduce the risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure. It may even boost your immune system and help you recover from illnesses more rapidly than you would if you were single. 

 In fact, love may correlate with longer lifespan. A review of research shows that married people or those who live with their romantic partners have a much lower risk of death than the participants who identified as single. Other studies have come to similar conclusions. 

Reduced Pain

Being around someone we love when we are sick can make us feel a little better. While it may be easy to dismiss that as a placebo effect, there is actually one study that shows that participants in love had less pain when looking at a picture of their partner. This is likely because the photo activated the reward system, thereby lowering pain levels. 

Are There Negative Health Effects of Love?

While there are a lot of positive benefits of love, there actually are some potential negative effects as well. Otherwise, there would not be so many songs about heartbreak. A long-term relationship can be stressful, especially close to the beginning of the partnership.

The reason that new relationships can be stressful is not always a bad thing. It can help us to pursue our love and act in a way that benefits the relationship as a whole. Still, stress is not the best feeling in the world. Luckily, the stress levels tend to decrease as the relationship grows and matures. 

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The body responds to the stress in a relationship by producing more norepinephrine and adrenaline. These are the same hormones that the body releases in dangerous situations that correspond with the fight or flight mechanisms. 

However, they can also cause butterflies in your stomach that are not always pleasant. They can also make us feel tense and on-edge and can cause shakiness, fast heart rate, and sweaty palms. 

In some cases, love can also affect our sleep and eating habits. We may find that it is hard to go to sleep when we are thinking about the person we care about. The influence on so many brain chemicals and hormones may also make it hard to eat. We may get nervous before a date, which can also impact our behavioral habits. 

Love can also cause us to make questionable decisions. We may act out of loving emotions instead of using logic as our guide for the decisions that we make. This can lead to poor judgement and erroneous behaviors.

However, in most cases the benefits of love outweigh the negative. This is because humans are social and desire companionship and the many positive effects that come with it. 

Conclusion

Love can be confusing, complicated, and tricky, but it can also be wonderful and boost your mood, lower stress, and extend your lifespan. Next time you are wondering if pursuing love again is worth it after a harsh breakup, try to remember that it can be wholly positive once you are ready to move on.

marie maguelMarie Miguel Biography: Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression