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! Here YourTango Experts 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!
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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. Stress Management: Balancing Work And Love
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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. 4 Love Lessons From Gandhi
—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.