Health & Wellness Articles

The Surprising Health Benefits of Being in Love

How Positive Relationships Boost Wellness

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However, simply being in a relationship isn't enough to reap these benefits; the quality of the relationship matters, too. Love is a complicated emotion, and it can have both good and bad side effects depending on how partners treat each other.
 
According to psychology professor and researcher Julianne Holt-Lunstad, positive relationships prove as beneficial to survival and longevity as quitting smoking—and the benefits of love might even exceed those of exercise. On the flip side, negative relationships can wreak havoc on your health. For example, it has been found that married people have lower blood pressure than unmarried people, but unhappily married people have higher blood pressure than both happily married and unmarried groups. Additionally, a 2009 study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that divorced or widowed people have 20 percent more chronic health conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer) than married people.
 
So, how do you ensure your marriage (or relationship) will be happy enough so you and your significant other can start reaping the benefits of love? Here are a few basic tips to follow for a healthy relationship:
  • Get out of relationships that no longer serve you. Studies show that unrequited love can lead to increased drinking, recreational drug use and depression. If the relationship isn't working, move on--for the sake of both you and your partner.
     
  • Practice open communication. When both of you are open and honest about your feelings, it is much easier to provide each other with what you want and need.
     
  • Make time for each other. In today's fast-paced world, our relationships often get pushed to the back burner. Make time for your partner, even if you have to schedule it in; it is worth it!
     
  • Learn to compromise. When you enter a relationship, it goes without saying that you will probably have to make some sacrifices. Anticipating and working amicably through those compromises is key for a healthy partnership.
     
  • Have activities outside of your relationship. It's important to keep your own separate identities and to not become too dependent on each other, no matter how in love you are. Be sure to strike a good balance by maintaining your own friends, hobbies and interests.
     
  • Don't sweat the small stuff. Chances are, your partner is probably going to have certain habits that drive you crazy—but it's also likely that there are things about you that drive your partner crazy, too! Learn to embrace those little flaws (everybody's got 'em!) and save the stress for the more important things.
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About The Author

Ellen Goldman Ellen Goldman
Ellen founded EllenG Coaching, LLC to help individuals struggling with health issues that can be impacted by positive lifestyle change, such as weight loss, stress management, exercise, and life/work balance. As a certified professional wellness coach and certified personal trainer, Ellen holds a BS and Masters in Physical Education and is certified by ACSM, AFAA, and Wellcoaches Corporation. Visit her at http://www.ellengcoaching.com/. Get her complimentary report, 52 Tips, Tools & Tricks to Permanent Weight Loss Without Going on a Diet, at www.endtheweightlossbattle.com.

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