While maintaining a satisfying relationship sometimes takes a lot of work, we all strive to enjoy the happy moments that love has to offer. According to science, being in love can be extremely satisfying, not only emotionally, but also physically.
It has the ability to relieve stress, reduce pain, heal wounds, and a plethora of other unexpected “side effects.” We have compiled a list of surprising scientific facts about romantic relationships to highlight the incredible benefits of loving and being loved.
Couples’ Hearts Synchronize
Science has confirmed that 2 hearts actually beat as one. According to studies, the hearts of couples who have been together for a long time subconsciously sync up when the couple is close.
Using electronic monitoring devices, scientists at the University of Illinois recorded and measured the pulse rates of 10 elderly couples in long-term relationships.
The researchers found that when they are together, one person in each pair affects the heart rate of the other and vice versa, in a complex dance. However, the study does not reveal a clear pattern underlying the changes: “We found that each day is a unique context that changes depending on the circumstances.
The interactions of the couple, their attitudes, behaviors, whether they are close or distant, change all the time”, explains researcher Brian Ogolsky.
Love Is Chemically Addictive
According to biological anthropologist, Helen E. Fisher, romantic love is a “wonderful and powerful addiction when things are going well.” The researchers explain that this happens because the dopamine reward system in our brain is activated by romantic love, just as it is activated by other addictive behaviors. A 2016 study compares romantic love to “natural addiction.”
Being In A Loving Relationship Lowers Blood Pressure
It turns out that happy couples keep each other healthy. Some research suggests that a satisfying marriage can lower your blood pressure, which makes your heart healthier.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, has been linked to numerous health conditions, including heart disease and stroke.
According to a study involving 204 married men and women and 99 single women, simply being happily married contributes to low blood pressure. But the study suggests that single people are healthier than their unhappy married counterparts.
Therefore, being married, in and of itself, is not beneficial in and of itself, rather it is the satisfaction and sense of well-being associated with the relationship that counts.
It Also Cuts Headache Frequency In Half
When we’re in love, our brain overflows with a happy hormone called oxytocin. In research conducted at the Stanford University School of Medicine, people with chronic headaches were given a nasal spray spiked with this “love hormone.”
The study found that 50% of participants reported that their headache was cut in half after just a few hours, and an additional 27% reported being completely pain-free in the same period.
According to other studies, being physically intimate with your partner has the power to reduce or completely relieve headaches in migraine sufferers.
Compassion Changes Your Brain Chemistry
Extensive evidence suggests that compassion and kindness trigger positive brain changes not only in the recipient but also in the giver. “Compassion increases activity in brain centers related to empathy and positive emotions, reduces activity in our fear centers, and makes our brains more interconnected,” explains Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D.
Compassion activates the same areas of the brain involved in reward processes, releasing oxytocin, the “happiness hormone.” These reward-related effects produce changes that range from mild mood elevation to intense euphoria and pleasure.
Love Can Be A Powerful Painkiller
Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine found that the warm, fuzzy feeling of being in love triggers the same response in the brain as painkillers (minus the potentially harmful side effects). The researchers involved in the study took MRIs of participants in happy romantic relationships.
Interestingly, they found that people who viewed images of their partners increased activity in brain regions associated with reward, suggesting that being in love may reduce the experience of physical pain.
In your opinion, what is the greatest benefit of being in a loving relationship? Let’s talk about it in the comments.