Humans are hardwired to be social beings and crave connection with others, which is why the majority of art, music and movies are devoted to love. But the feeling of being in love doesn’t just affect your body by giving you butterflies and making you act like a giddy schoolgirl. Falling in love and maintaining a positive relationship with someone has health benefits, and there’s been plenty of research to prove it. So here’s a list of why falling in love is good for your health:
The Dept. of Health and Human Services issued a 68-page report that said married couples generally live happier, longer lives, drink less, and have fewer doctor’s appointments than unmarried people.
Psychology Professor at Brigham Young University, Julianne Holt-Lunstad found that happily married people tend to have lower blood pressure than those who are unmarried.
She also noted that the iconic feelings associated with falling in love increase dopamine levels in the brain, which is responsible for alleviating pain, boosting energy, and making you feel more optimistic, similar to the effects of getting high off drugs.
Dopamine is also triggered when you simply look at photos of your significant other or someone you care about, according to research by Rutgers University.
Dopamine isn’t the only chemical in the body triggered when in love. According to research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the hormone oxytocin is released when partners engage in physical contact like hugging and handholding. Similar to dopamine, oxytocin is known for lowering stress levels, reducing blood pressure and improving mood.
To all the couples madly in love, Happy Valentine’s Day! And to anyone who’s single this holiday, don’t rush into finding Mr. or Mrs. Right, because there’s plenty more research showing that unhappy couples can suffer from negative effects on their health.