As the Beatles song suggests, “love is all you need” when it comes to living a happy and healthy life. In fact, several scientific studies back up the fact that those in committed relationships live much healthier lives, in both mind and body, when compared to their bachelorette and bachelor counterparts.
Here are seven reasons why happily ever after means healthier ever after for couples in love…
1. Love Hurts So—Good!
According to a PLOS One study, you can literally take the lyrics, “Come on baby, make it hurt so good” to heart. The study monitored the way individuals in relationships vs. single individuals handled pain.
According to the study findings, individuals in pairs processed pain a lot more effectively when they were administered mild stimuli while viewing images of their partner—compared to when viewing images of attractive acquaintances. The findings showed that seeing your love diminished the overall pain experience.
2. Coupledom Lowers Stress
Studies conducted by Northwestern University and the University of Chicago claim that being in a partnership leads to less stress, especially for women. The study found that being in a long-term, committed partnership lowered production of the stress hormone, cortisol.
So even if you have to pick up your spouse’s dirty socks all the time, being in a committed bond protects the body and brain from psychological and physical stress.
3. Cohabitation Prevents Depression
According to a study out of Cornell University, cohabitating couples experience lower rates of anxiety and depression compared to their rolling stone counterparts.
Study researchers wrote in the findings that being in a healthy relationship where you know that you can count on a partner for support led to better feelings of protection, support, and stability. Couples also reported being better able to manage exterior stress compared to singles who lived alone.
4. Strength in Partnership Connections
There is something to the adage “happy wife—happy life” and that goes for happy husbands as well. A study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family noted that having a spouse to call your own helps you live longer.
In fact, the study pointed out that several factors—including a strong social network that comes with partnership (i.e., made up of in laws, kids, and friends) tend to keep couples happy, healthy and well connected.
5. Long Term Love Protects Your Heart
There’s something kind of romantic about the notion that being in love keeps your heart safe. In fact, research published by the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, found that marriage lowers heart attack risk for both men and ladies.
The study actually found that certain aspects of long term love—lead to less stress, better social ties, and just being better taken care of. See, happily ever after does actually mean “healthier ever after!”
6. Love = Happiness
So it might not be a stretch to link love with happiness. However, Harvard studies show that being invested in a healthy, committed relationship leads to more happiness than remaining independent does.
The 75-year study, entitled the Harvard Grant Study, monitored joy in relationships over the course of a lifetime. Findings revealed that being in a stable partnership becomes gradually more and more vital to personal happiness and health as individual’s age.
7. Love Partners Keeps Us Fit
Do you have your eye on a hottie in your hot yoga class? Well, a study featured in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity notes that couples with one active partner tend to learn healthy habits from one another.
The study credits love with inspiring healthier habits (if one partner has health and wellness already in mind). So get off the couch and go find yourself a love match in spin class!