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Why People Who Kiss A Lot Are Heathier Than People Who Don't

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The Biggest Health Benefits Of Kissing, According To Science
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New research finds major advantages for regular smoochers.

Affectionate communication—including, of course, kissing—has long been regarded as important and productive.

Such affection has long been considered one of three fundamental human needs. My own work has documented that affectionate communication is indicative of relational commitment and satisfaction and helps us understand responses to partner transgressions. Kory Floyd, of Arizona State, has programmatically studied and revealed the physiological benefits of affectionate communication.

One such study, focused on romantic partner kissing, will be reviewed here. The findings make a surprising case for more kissing between partners.


RELATED: Finally! Science Explains Why We Kiss To Show Affection


Health Benefits of Kissing

Floyd and his colleagues wanted to understand how increases in the frequency with which romantic partners kissed related to their general indicators of stress and well-being. To that end, they studied couples, both married and dating, who lived together full-time.

Over a six-week period, half the couples were instructed: “Over the next 6 weeks, we would like you and your spouse or romantic partner to kiss more frequently than you normally do. At first, you might set aside a few minutes each day specifically for kissing. Over time, you will probably find that it becomes a more routine part of how you interact. The point is for the two of you to kiss each other more often and for longer periods of time than you typically do right now."

Although a number of factors were examined, key differences were seen among the study's participants with regard to relationship satisfaction, stress, and cholesterol levels. Specifically, over the six-week period, individuals who increased their frequency of kissing reported both lower levels of stress and higher levels of relationship satisfaction. And importantly, their physiological assessments of cholesterol, via blood draws, also decreased.


RELATED: MWAH! 7 Health Benefits Of Locking Lips (Confirms Science)


The results further underscore the importance of kissing in relationships. The decrease in cholesterol levels was an especially significant finding given the health complications associated with cholesterol. In fact, healthcare providers regularly recommend that people work to decrease cholesterol levels through diet and exercise. Findings here suggest that an additional—and potentially more fun—behavior, in the form of kissing, might be added to that list.

The next time you’re stressed, consider making some time for your partner for a potentially productive make-out session.

RELATED: 5 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Kiss Someone (According To Science)


Follow Sean Horan on Twitter for relationship commentary/links, complaints about mass transit, and support for WVU Athletics. Continue to follow his Psychology Today blog for future entries about deception, online dating, using affection to lie, workplace romance, and other issues that make obtaining and retaining a mate oh so interesting. 

This article was originally published at Psychology Today. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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