How Your Love Life Influences Your Health

Learn how your love life influences your health, from the benefits of a committed relationship to the importance of having regular sex.
Love life

April 2022. This article is independently written by Shelby Golding. All opinions given are hers. Shelby has been certified as a personal trainer and nutritional specialist since 2007. In 2008, she found her passion for writing about these topics and hasn't looked back.

Love life

Learn how your love life influences your health, from the benefits of a committed relationship to the importance of having regular sex.

The fact that love life influences your health is no secret. Being in love causes all kinds of physical reactions, from a pounding heart to sweaty palms. Meanwhile, your emotions fluctuate from euphoric to obsessive. Love prevents illness and disease, improves your mental health, and helps you heal faster.
And when your heart breaks? Chest pain, emotional agony, and depression follow shortly in its wake. The area of your brain triggered during a break-up is also activated when you experience physical pain. Your brain draws attention to the loss of love in the same way it would in reaction to a life-threatening wound.
Keep reading to learn the many ways your love life influences your health, from its effects on the brain to the importance of being sexually active with your partner.

Your Brain on Love

The most profound consequences of your love life occur in the brain. When you are in love, your brain is teeming with the chemicals associated with reward. High levels of dopamine are released, which activates the reward circuit and triggers a euphoric feeling.
Oxytocin is another chemical released during sex and skin-to-skin contact. This hormone is affectionately referred to as the “love hormone” because it makes people feel calm, secure, and content. The other relationship hormone is vasopressin, which appears in the body during long-term, monogamous relationships.
Not all the chemicals released while we are in love are pleasurable. In the initial stages of love, people often feel distracted, scared, and even obsessed with their new partner. These unpleasant side effects of love are due to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol and a shortage of serotonin. As a result, your body responds to falling in love the same way it would in a crisis. This response causes the terror associated with the beginning of a relationship.
The release of hormones also turns off the pathways associated with negative emotions. The parts of your brain that create social anxiety, fear, anxiety, and even depression shut down. As a result, your ability to assess risk is compromised. This reaction is why we often say love is blind.
When you lose someone that you love or go through a breakup, you feel physical pain and withdrawal. Like that, when you are overcoming addiction, your brain must adjust to the loss of love chemicals. You might respond to this loss by overindulging in food, alcohol, exercise, or drugs. Thankfully, your brain is also wired for recovery. After a time, you adjust to the loss and begin thinking about ways to choose a better partner in the future.

Benefits of a Committed Relationship

You seek out love for the same reason you crave sugar, get addicted to drugs or exercise, and overindulge in your guilty pleasures – your brain is hardwired to love love. Falling in love is a rollercoaster, but being in a loving, committed relationship is where the real benefits lie.
People who feel socially isolated are more likely to be depressed or anxious. The chemicals oxytocin and vasopressin that appear when we are in a committed relationship regulate stress, anxiety, and social anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety or depression, love is like a salve on the wound.
The reduced effect of stress, anxiety, and depression accompanying committed relationships also improves immunity. Studies show that positive emotions are associated with a strong immune system, while negative emotions compromise your immunity. Negative emotions can cause systemic inflammation often associated with heart disease, obesity, and cancer.
People in relationships go to the doctor less often and stay in the hospital for less time. Professionals aren't sure exactly why but speculate that it's a combination of partners taking care of each other and the emotional and mental support you get in a relationship.

Studies show that people in relationships also sleep better when sleeping next to a person they love. According to one study, both sleep quality and length improved while sleeping next to a partner.

In addition to being good for your mental and emotional health, committed relationships are usually accompanied by regular sex. And sex has benefits of its own.

 Let’s Talk About Sex

 Let’s Talk About Sex

Dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin also play a role during sex. Dopamine is present during arousal and after an orgasm. Oxytocin, the love hormone, is secreted during an orgasm. And vasopressin causes arousal in men and increases their motivation to engage in sex. However, vasopressin acts a bit differently in women and can prevent arousal.
Overall, sex has many benefits. It lowers your blood pressure and leads to better heart health. Men who have sex regularly (at least twice a week) are less likely to die from heart disease. Sex also balances your estrogen and testosterone, which protects you from diseases like osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s.
The link between sex and memory is a compelling one. During sex, cell growth increases in the areas associated with memory. Regular sex has also been shown to improve executive function in the brain, which is especially important as you age.
Other psychological benefits of sex include decreased depression and anxiety, improved self-esteem, reduced stress, and increased intimacy with your partner. Self-esteem, in particular, is a necessary trait to cultivate in your love life. It boosts confidence in your decisions which can have ripple effects throughout your life.

Longer, Happier Life

Whether you are recently single, in a relationship, or looking for love, investing in your love life is an investment in health. Healthy, committed relationships lead to a longer, healthier life. The physical benefits improve your longevity, enhance your heart health, boost immunity, and lessen pain.
Living a long life isn't worth anything without happiness. So, beware of unhealthy relationships that negatively affect your mental and physical health. Stress from a toxic relationship will shorten your life span, aggravate existing health problems, and cause low self-worth.
Remember, you don’t have to let pain slow you down around those you care about. Just apply your Kailo pain patch near the site of pain and get back to focusing on what really matters. A recent clinical study showed a significant increase in quality of life when switching to Kailo from oral medication.
Disclaimer: Kailo should not be used if you have a pacemaker or if you are pregnant. Always consult your doctor or health care professional before using Kailo.

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