Love... it makes the world go round, creates a warm and fuzzy feeling inside you and can help you through the darkest days. All in all love is pretty...well...lovely.
However, there's more to love than just sunshine, butterflies and moonlit strolls on the beach. In fact, there's lots of science that suggests that being in love can have positive effects on your health and wellbeing. Here's 5 reasons how love is good for your health.
1. Love lowers blood pressure
A study in the US found that blood pressure levels were consistently lower in married individuals than unmarried people. However, those who were in unhappy marriages had the highest blood pressure of the lot - suggesting love is the secret not marriage or sharing the household chores!
2. Love can help increase your immune system
Next time you moan about catching your other half's cold, remember that being in love means less trips to the doctors. It's also been suggested that having sex at least once a week can help create the antibodies that prevent illness - so make sure you get to bed early and get your weekly dose of this medicine ;-)
3. Love can make you live longer
A 2004 study (The National Longitudinal Mortality Study FYI) found that married couples have a longer lifespan than unmarried people. So less of the life sentence jokes please.
4. Love makes you safer
Studies have shown that people in relationships are less likely to engage in risky behaviour and put themselves in potentially dangerous situations - the same can also be said for alcohol and drug use. Being in love can release endorphins, which give us that giddy feeling when you think about or are around your sweetheart. Neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis, author of Impulse: Why We Do What We Do Without Knowing Why We Do It explains:
‘Dopamine is associated with optimism, energy and a sense of wellbeing. Because you feel good about yourself and are optimistic, then you are less likely to do things which are self-destructive like drinking too much or smoking. Being in love almost acts as a protection against the bad things in life.’
5. It's not just exclusive to romantic love
Flying solo at the moment? Don't sweat it. A study by Juliet Holt-Lunstad showed that strong friendships between friends, family and colleagues increased survival by up to 50%
So whether you're in a relationship or not, the message seems pretty clear that love is an awesome emotion for health and happiness. So give it out in bag loads and you will always get plenty in return. Like this? Check out the 6 things happy people do every morning.