It’s not just butterflies and sweaty palms… In celebration of the Month of Love, we look at some of the wonderful ways in which that lovin’ feeling affects our bodies and our health!
Love benefit 1: Being in love can help you lose weight
Passing on dessert is so much easier when you’re in love. That’s because your body is overflowed with a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine, which in turn produces adrenaline – which suppresses your appetite. This could explain why people usually lose weight when they start dating someone. Also, chances are, you’re motivated to exercise more often in order to look and feel your best.
Love benefit 2: Love helps clear up your skin and make you look younger
Yay for that happy glow! When you’re in love, your stress levels decrease, which means lower cortisol levels – the main cause of stress-induced acne. The increased blood flow to the skin also increases the supply of essential nutrients and oxygen to your skin cells, making you look healthier and younger.
Love benefit 3: A happy heart = fewer colds
All you need is Vitamin L(ove)! A recent study showed that just five-minutes of feeling genuine care or compassion enhanced the whole immune system, causing a gradual increase in the release of the body’s natural antibody against colds, flu and other invading germs.
Love benefit 4: Being cared for makes you better, faster
The power of a positive relationship may make flesh wounds heal faster. Overseas researchers gave married couples blister wounds. The wounds healed nearly twice as fast in spouses who interacted warmly, compared with those who demonstrated a lot of hostility toward each other.
Love benefit 5: Love improves your mental wellbeing
When you’re in love the brain produces a chemical called dopamine, a feel-good stimulant that is responsible for feelings of bliss, optimism and patience. Infatuated people also produce lots of the bonding hormone, oxytocin which spreads a warm, internal flutter throughout the body when it is released during touch or physical intimacy.
Love benefit 6: Your aches and pains ease up
Love doesn’t have to hurt! Studies have shown that love activates the same neural receptors in the brain as pain-soothing drugs.
Love benefit 7: It makes everything taste sweeter
Researchers made students write about love, and then sample various foods and drinks. The result? No matter what they tasted, the students reported that everything had a sweet flavour.
Love benefit 8: Love may make you live longer
Research shows that being in loving relationships can cut the risk of an early death in half. Even people who have unhealthy lifestyles tend to live longer than those who lack social and community support.