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Health Benefits of Love ♥ Who Knew?!

One could argue that Valentine’s Day may be considered one of the healthiest days of the year. There is an increasing number of research studies about the positive health benefits of feeling loved, respected and valued through a close relationship and connection with your family, friends or partner.

Neuroscience research shows that chemicals in your brain react to love from the feel-good brain chemical dopamine to the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin. Love even ignites the erratic and emotional behavior in new love due to changes in the hormone cortisol. These changes start to subside as love endures long term, then you begin to release brain chemicals, such as oxytocin. Studies have found that hugging or holding hands releases these good brain chemicals, which leads to overall good health.

Below is a short list of health benefits linked to love and based on scientific studies:

· Improves Overall Mental Health

· Lowers Blood Pressure and May Improve Overall Heart Health

· Good Natural Pain Management

· Better Stress Management

· Fewer Colds, Immune System Boost

· More Rapid Healing

· Reduces Signs of Aging

· Less Overall Doctor’s Visits

· Happier and Longer Life

Many studies have shown that loneliness can have a negative impact on your health. Brain chemicals react but in a negative way leading to anxiety and depression. Also, your stress response is heightened, and inflammation increases in your body.

Sometimes it takes extra work to maintain that enduring love. Below are a few ideas on how to maintain a thriving and loving relationship:

· Love Yourself First

· Learn how to Communicate Effectively and Manage Conflict

· Practice Gratitude and Be Kind

· Try to Listen Instead of Speaking

· Acknowledge Successes of Others

· Engage in Social Activities and Stay Connected

· Remember Respect and Trust

· Be Humble

· Hugs are Always Good

Maintaining a loving relationship with your family, friends and partner can become difficult at times because we all get caught up in day-to-day work and activities. Take a moment in your day to make it a point to reach out to your loved ones, show your appreciation and let them know that you are there for them. This small gesture is so rewarding and good for your health.

We celebrate Valentine’s Day with a heart icon and feel love in our hearts, but most of the changes happen in the brain. Hmmm…a brain icon to symbolize this special day of love? On second thought, let’s keep the symbolic heart icon. We can still pay tribute to the brain for that amazing feeling that comes from a loving relationship.

It makes sense now how love contributes to good health.

Always give love and feel love, and you will always be forever loved.

By: Belinda Burchick, RPh, BPharm


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