You know that cozy, warm feeling you get when hanging out with your closest loved ones? Or how you feel like all your troubles melted away during the time you were with them? There could actually be science behind how healthy and strong relationships improve the way you feel.
Not only can strong relationships make positive changes in your day-to-day well-being, like you learned here (link to blog), But healthy, strong relationships are also proving to have unique benefits for mental and physical health.
Continue reading to learn more about the five ways that strong social connections and personal relationships can improve your mood!
Benefits of Relationships – How it Works
Our bodies are made up of various neurotransmitters like dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin, which are all somehow associated with positive experiences. Not surprisingly, considering that oxytocin is commonly called the “love hormone” and is believed to be connected to trust and bonds.
Even more, serotonin is nicknamed the “happy chemical,” and studies also show that levels of the neurotransmitter increase when in a healthy relationship. It is also associated with rewarding and fulfilling actions. In fact, years of research have shown that being alone and isolated can lower the amount of serotonin in the body.
Last but not least, dopamine is a neurotransmitter produced by the hypothalamus and is also a key player in the brain’s reward process, considering it’s released when we do things that make us feel good. Such as spending time with loved ones and intimacy too!
Beyond their mental health consequences, unhealthy relationships can increase levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol can wreck a person’s health by making insulin regulation worse, causing heart problems, making inflammation worse, and making the immune system weaker.
Top 5 Benefits of Relationships for Health
Now that you know more about the science behind the health benefits of a healthy relationship, let’s get into the exact top 5 benefits of relationships for mental and physical health.
#1 – Reduces Anxiety
As you might have guessed from what you just learned about our body’s neurotransmitters, strong and healthy relationships help reduce levels of anxiety. While this benefit is less directly researched, one study shows positive romantic relationships can help stabilize those who are susceptible to neurosis, with anxiety being a primary symptom.
#2 – Helps Depression
More than reducing anxiety, another benefit of a healthy relationship is the improvement of depression. This is backed up by studies that show those in happy marriages experience fewer depressive symptoms when compared to those who are single, divorced/separated, or widowed, and those in less-than-quality relationships.
#3 – Immune system support
It’s likely you’ve heard of gut health recently, and it’s important to know that 80% of your immune system (and the majority of body microbes) are found in the gut. Studies show that love helps support a healthy, wellness-enhancing gut microbiome, which helps fight harmful bacteria or viruses.
#4 – Promotes faster healing
Having a healthy, strong support system or relationship is also proving to aid in the healing of those suffering from medical injuries or ailments. One study on how people recover from coronary heart disease found that “The presence of an intimate partner is typically associated with reduced risk of incident CHD, improved prognosis, and more effective health behavior change and patient management.”
#5 – May decrease pain levels
Another healing benefit of relationships is the connection between love and feeling pain. A 2010 Stanford study published successful results and concluded that “intense, passionate feelings of love can block pain in ways similar to painkillers or illicit drugs like cocaine.”
Benefits of a Healthy Relationship – The Final Word
At PurePower, we know it’s not just going to take one change to help you feel your best. It often takes tiny changes here and there to achieve remarkable results (again, still influenced by James Clear!). So, along with our hemp and performance herb-powered supplements, we’ll continue to give you tips, tricks, and life hacks that you can use every day to improve your health.
Because, let’s be honest, modern life is a major threat to our long-term health and high performance. So join our journey and stay tuned for more helpful articles, like our series on healthy, strong relationships to ignite your inner fire! For now, shop our full collection of products or learn more about the PurePower difference.