Just the thought of our beloved can improve our mood, and that's because the emotion of love is not just playing out in your mind.
There are thousands of songs, poems, books, and movies about love. We really care about it and it affects us in a deep way. Who hasn't felt a flutter in their heart, butterflies in their stomach, and gotten a little nervous at the sight of their partner? Just the thought of our beloved can improve our mood, and that's because the emotion of love is not just playing out in your mind. It also has a physical effect on us.
When we are in love, neurochemicals like dopamine and oxytocin flow into areas in our brain that are connected with pleasure and rewards. Love has physical and psychological responses like less perceived pain and a stronger desire for intercourse with your partner. Not that just, even acts like cuddling, hugging, and kissing can reduce stress and increase feelings of calm, trust, and security because of oxytocin.
There are more ways in which love affects our bodies. Here are five ways it affects us and they are all beneficial to us:
People in love might find themselves lusting after their partners a lot. It might be hard to keep your hands off of each other then, but why does that happen? Hormones come into play here. Androgen, which is a group of hormones like testosterone, boost your desire for your partner whom you love. These hormones also increase when you have intercourse and it's a cycle, which further gets fortified thanks to the release of oxytocin and dopamine, according to Healthline. Physical intimacy with your partner can also have health benefits, and who doesn't want a more passionate romantic life?
When we are in love, we might feel euphoric at the prospect of spending time with our beloved. Just hearing their name or listening to a song that reminds you of them might make you feel excited. This happens to us because of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Just thinking about the things and people we love might be enough to release dopamine, which makes us excited and eager to see them. From the perspective of evolution, this feeling helped people choose the partner they would reproduce with.
A 2007 study, The Effects of Marriage on Health: A Synthesis of Recent Research Evidence, published by the US Department of Health Services observed the relationship between marriage, physical health, and how long people live. They found that married couples had lower blood pressure and they were at a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease. An increase in blood pressure or hypertension can increase our risks for heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure, according to Business Insider.
If you're in a loving relationship, you might live longer and there are studies to prove that. A 2011 review of 95 articles, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, looked at the death rate of single people and compared it to that of people who were married or lived with partners. The review authors found that single people were at higher risk for early death.
Another study that took place in 2012, published by American Psychological Association, also had evidence that those in love can have a longer life. For the study, researchers look at people who had coronary artery bypass grafting. Among those, patients who were married when they had the surgery were 2.5 times more likely to still be alive 15 years later. Those who were highly satisfied in their marriage were 3.2 times more likely to be living for the next 15 years.
Who knew, huh! A 2010 study published in the journal PLoS ONE took fMRI found that when people in new romantic relationships were shown photos of their partners, their brain was reacting in a way to reduce the feeling of pain. "When people are in this passionate, all-consuming phase of love, there are significant alterations in their mood that are impacting their experience of pain," Dr. Sean Mackey, senior author of the study, told Stanford Medicine News Center, according to Business Insider.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Arina Krasnikova