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Valentine’s Day is upon us! A day we openly express our love and affection for that special one in our life. From a romantic dinner to a surprise flower delivery, or extra hand holding and hugging, this day holds significant meaning for our intimate relationships, and boosts our feelings of love and passion.

According to one of the legends, St. Valentine, for whom the holiday was named, defied the emperor’s order and secretly married couples to spare the husbands from war. It is for this reason that his feast day was associated with love. Today, it has become a significant cultural, religious and cultural celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world.

While we profess and celebrate love on Valentine’s Day, equally called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, with champagne, red roses and chocolates, it is imperative that we also consider the impact of love – that deep and tender feeling of affection for or attachment or devotion to another person – on our health and wellbeing.

So what does love have to do with our health? Is all that outpouring of emotions and affection even good for our healthiness and well-being?

The answer is a definite Yes!

Love comes with some solid health benefits according to a growing body of scientific research. As humans, we are wired for connection, and when we cultivate good relationships, not the spine-tingling romance, the rewards are immense. A stable and healthy physical relationship with another contributes to both short-term and long-term happiness, and boosts our emotional and mental wellbeing as well.

The key is to “feel connected to other people, feel respected and valued by other people, and feel a sense of belonging,” says Harry Reis, PhD, co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Human Relations.

The 6 Research-backed Health Benefits of Love:

1. Fewer Doctors’ and Hospital Visits

In a review conducted by The Health and Human Services Department, USA, one of the report’s most striking findings is that happily, married people have fewer doctor’s visits and shorter average hospital stays.

“Nobody quite knows why loving relationships are good for health,” Harry Reis, PhD, co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Human Relationships says. “The best logic for this is that human beings have been crafted by evolution to live in closely knit social groups. When that is not happening, the biological systems … get overwhelmed.”

Another theory is that people in good relationships take better care of themselves, and oftentimes, will adopt safer behaviors and healthier habits when they are in love. For example, a person is less likely to risk their life with smoking, binge drinking, reckless driving or dangerous eating habits if a loved one is depending on them and motivating them to do better. Over time, these good habits translate to fewer illnesses.

2. Love Is A Pain Killer

According to recent studies, love is powerful, as strong as medication in its effect on the human brain. Love stimulates the brain in exactly the same way as powerful painkillers or drugs like cocaine. This is because love and cocaine target the same ‘feel-good’ chemical in the brain called dopamine and this is highly influential in the management of pain.

Studies have revealed that intense feelings of love, most commonly associated with the early stages of a relationship – usually the first nine months – can also diminish feelings of pain by up to 50%. Described as love induced analgesia, this pain management is more focused on the reward center in the brain which mimics how opiate-based painkillers work, at a deep spinal level.

“Opioid addiction is repetitive so the brain tells the body that this is good, it is a reward and you really need to keep doing it, exactly the intense feelings of obsession and desire which are evident in the heady days of fledgling love affairs,” says Arthur Aron PhD, a psychologist at the State University of New York.

3. Love May Make You Live Longer

Since the beginning of time, humans have depended on one another for survival. As social animals, we all have biological drives that naturally make us want to find an intimate bond with others. Not finding those connections may result in stress and other factors, which can affect our lifespan.

“Research shows that people in loving relationships have a lower death rate than single people, even people who have unhealthy lifestyles tend to live longer than those who lack social and community support,” says Professor Al Snyman, Clinical Advisor for Resolution Health Medical Scheme, USA.

According to a study conducted by Brigham Young University, spending time with those you love has an extremely positive effect on health and can cut the risk of an early death in half. The study attributes a person’s lengthened lifespan to high self-esteem due to his or her partner’s positive feedback, which lowers the chances of depression.

4. Love Can Help Combat Diseases

What is better than being in love with your partner to help combat deadly diseases? Studies have shown that being in love can help combat asthma, arthritis, hay fever, nasal congestion and even a headache.

“A strong romantic support system protects the body from developing high levels of cortisol which is a stress hormone. This helps to protect from various diseases including cardiovascular diseases such as strokes, high blood pressure and ischemic heart disease – three of the most deadly diseases,” says Professor Snyman.

While kissing, an act of love, our body releases oxytocin hormone and dopamine and serotonin chemicals that help reduce stress and boost overall physical and mental health.

5. Love Improves Your Mental Wellbeing

It may seem obvious that one of love’s greatest benefits is joy. But research is just beginning to reveal how strong this link can be. A study in the Journal of Family Psychology shows happiness depends more on the quality of family relationships than on the level of income. And so, we have scientific evidence that, at least in some ways, the power of love trumps the power of money.

“Loving and being loved also helps to vaccinate you against anxiety. When you are in love the brain produces a chemical called dopamine, a feel-good stimulant that is responsible for feelings of bliss, optimism and patience,” says Professor Snyman.

“Infatuated people also produce a surplus of a chemical called oxytocin, the bonding hormone. This endorphin spreads a warm, internal flutter throughout the body when it is released during touch or physical intimacy,” he adds.

6. Love Improves Self-Confidence

People in healthy relationships tend to be more confident in all areas of their life. It has been proven that getting married and staying married reduces depression in both men and women.

“Having a positive self-esteem comes from being validated and receiving affirmation that you have worth. With improved self-esteem, people in love are often more capable of achieving and maintaining their professional and personal goals in life,” says Professor Snyman.

So before you roll your eyes at all the love struck people you are most likely to come across this Valentine’s Day, keep in mind that there are psychological and physical benefits to being in love.

Furthermore being compassionate and loving to those close to you is bound to have you feeling good about yourself mentally, emotionally and physically too. If that can result in you even looking a tad bit younger then that’s reason enough to pursue love this Valentine’s Day.



1. 10 Surprising Health Benefits of Love (

2. 10 Reasons Why Love Is So Powerful and Important to Humans (

3. 5 Ways Love Is Good for Your Mental and Physical Health | Time

From all of us at Prompt Home Health, Happy Valentine’s Day. We hope you enjoy the day with your special someone or other loved ones that make you feel good physically, emotionally and mentally.

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