By Ilene Dillon, Linda Marie RN, BSN, and Rebecca Roy, MFT
We are frequently looking for a magic pill to help us feel better and happier. What is the one thing you can do in your life to feel happy, look good and feel good? The answer is love! Let’s examine 10 health and beauty benefits of love.
1. More energy. Emotional love works to lift spirits and physical love (sex) leads to better all-around mental and physical health. So much for re-energizing with an afternoon nap – try an afternoon romp instead!
2. Look and feel younger. A happy love life means more smiles and laughter. Research shows that people who stay positive look and feel better as they age than those who don’t.
-Linda Marie, Dating/Life Coach
3. More generosity = more happiness. The most positive things about most people’s day is doing things for or with others. Positive Psychology teaches us the paradox: Giving is receiving. What better place to practice “giving and receiving” than in relationships? Loving others allows us to focus on the joys of giving, yet allows us to more graciously accept what is given to us, as well. (Seligman, Ryff, Snyder, Lopez)
4. Less stress. Being “in love” allows us to accept another person’s influence and assistance, which according to relationships expert and researcher John Gottman, is a big predictor of marital (and relationship) success. This is particularly important for men, who feel more pressure to be in charge and to be the decision-maker, and so benefit from the reduced stress of sharing the load.
5. Emotional and spiritual growth. This kind of growth can occur during a relationship, when our hearts and minds are more open. Even dealing with a failed relationship can help send us towards a higher personal state, as divorce research has shown us.
-Ilene Dillon, Counselor/Therapist
6. Longer, healthier life. Since 1979, the National Longitudinal Mortality Study has been studying more than a million subjects and found that married people generally outlive unmarrieds. Moreover, married people have been found to have lower cancer rates and unlikely to suffer pneumonia than singles. Researchers at the University of Iowa also found that ovarian cancer patients with happy and fulfilling relationships had higher white blood cell counts.
7. Sparkling eyes. Your output of adrenaline and sex hormones (such as testosterone or estrogen) goes up when you are in love. As a result, you feel a buzz throughout your whole body. Being in love can also make your pupils enlarge, making them look far more dramatic and attractive. If you look at pictures used in advertisements, you will usually see that the models have large pupils. When men are shown two pictures of the same woman: one with small pupils and one with enlarged pupils, they almost always prefer the picture with the large pupils.
8. Kissable lips. Regular kissing can make your lips more attractive and more kissable. Being in love can give your lips extra color and improve their shape.
9. Better breasts. If you are a woman, being in love and making love can improve the size and shape of your breasts. Being aroused and in love can contract the muscles and increase the blood flow around your nipples, making them stand up and look larger.
10. Shiny hair. The increase in hormones that come with being in love means your hair will look shinier and healthier.
-Rebecca Roy, Counselor/Therapist