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.
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
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
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.
Let’s Talk About Sex
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
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.