We all know that good connections can facilitate love, improve health and increase longevity. But when it comes to a strong relationship with your partner, the benefits are even greater. For most people, relationships are even more valuable once they see and experience the physical and mental benefits that they have to offer.
The truth is, all kinds of social connections give us pleasure and improve our well-being. However, a strong relationship with a partner not only gives us pleasure - it also influences our life in dozens of ways. Research strongly suggests that strong relationships help improve sleep, a nutritious diet and quitting poor health habits like drinking, smoking, etc. In order to paint the full picture for you, today, we are listing all the mental and physical benefits of a happy relationship.
1. Prolonged mental health
Although happy couples can drive each other crazy, in the long run - it's that quality of love that matters and according to a study done by Florida State University, it has helped them experience significantly fewer mental health problems in the long run than single people. The study also showed that people committed to relationships with more sexual partners are usually experiencing more physical and mental health problems. Most importantly, the mental health as a benefit of a strong relationship was found to influence both men and women and is likely a consequence of being coupled-up and happy in a committed relationship. (http://fincham.info/papers/2010_PR-Braithwaite.pdf)
2. Reduced Pain
Although some poems and songs say that 'love hurts', a lot of research has shown that the best way to numb the pain is to experience true love. Opposite to creating a bubble for yourself and not getting away from it, the best way to reduce your pain is to participate in a strong relationship where you get to express your feelings of romantic love and therefore aid pain relief. A 2009 study suggested this notion by having college students experience a moderate pain sensations while showing them pictures of their loved ones.
The results increased activity in the mental health and were found to drastically reduce the sensation of pain. (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091113151037.htm
3. Reduced Stress
A relationship that is free of drama and fights should be relatively free of stress. There are studies to back that up, where single people were prone to greater psychological stress than ones that were married or in a steady relationship. The relationship status can affect the production of cortisol which is a stress hormone. Contrary to that, partners who are satisfied with their relationship are in a better position to provide support when the other partner experiences stressful events.
Although many people find happiness in different things, love is generally the best way to experience it and show it to everyone. People who are in love are happier than singles, according to many studies that examined the looks of the faces of people who see their partners - and who are truly, madly and deeply in love with them.
The images of a brain that is in love is slightly different than a brain that is sexually aroused or attracted, once again proving the value of love and how important it is for extended mental well-being.
5. Longer Life
Probably most important is this last benefit - that was also proven by scientists. According to research, unmarried adults have a higher probability of early death than those who are married and living with their spouses. Non-married people actually have a significantly increased risk of death, according to studies made all over the world.
This is mainly due to the more supportive social networks of people who are married, including their families, children and relatives.
A Final Word
In the end, strong relationships are worth the effort - however, only when the quality of the relationship matters and the love is satisfying to both partners. In fact, unsatisfying marriages and relationships lack most of these benefits and may even create side effects from love that is not true, returned or compromised in any way possible.
Interested in hearing more about how a strong relationship can help you become more mentally strong?
Join us at the Heart Matters Retreat events in August and October with your partner - and see how truly special your life and well-being is!