How Love Affects Mental Health?

How Love Affects Mental Health?

Love and a positive environment increase the feeling of happiness, and reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Being loved enhances self-esteem and the feeling that you are valued, which in turn has a positive effect not only on physical but also on mental health. Love is a powerful emotion and can be healing. No matter what form it takes, it supports general physical and mental well-being.

Research clearly shows that loving and healthy interpersonal relationships, as well as good social support from family and friends, love is important for improving mental health.

Modern science has shown that love is not “only” an emotion, but also a dynamic biological process. Social interactions between individuals trigger cognitive and physiological processes, which affect emotional and mental states. In turn, these changes affect future social relations. Similarly, maintaining love relationships requires constant feedback through sensory and cognitive systems – the body seeks love and constantly reacts to the interaction with loved ones or the absence of such interaction.

Ways love affects mental health

1. It makes us happy

Happy love

When you fall in love, the chemical dopamine is activated in the brain, which provides a feeling of satisfaction and improves mood. However, in the initial stage of falling in love, there is an increased secretion of stress hormones, cortisol, as well as a simultaneous drop in serotonin levels. This may explain the appearance of passion mixed with anxiety, obsession and nervousness, which is characteristic for the beginning of love relationships.

Dopamine levels can remain elevated even as love matures, and then cortisol and serotonin levels return to normal, helping us relax.

2. Relieves stress

A loving, partner relationship not only stimulates the production of dopamine, but also oxytocin – a hormone that awakens the desire to connect. Being in the presence of someone who respects, appreciates and loves you can reduce cortisol and adrenaline levels, thus relieving stress and creating homeostasis of chemicals in the brain.

3. Relieves anxiety

Numerous studies indicate ways in which loneliness can harm human health – from increasing inflammation to activating pain centers. The feeling of loneliness stimulates the production of norepinephrine, which can cause anxiety. Also, cortisol and adrenaline levels rise when people feel insecure and threatened, which triggers the body’s response to stress. Falling in love and feeling close to another person can alleviate anxiety.

4. It affects you to take more care of yourself

When you are in a love relationship you have more motivation and will to take care of yourself. It may sound like a cliché, but you can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself. The healthiest relationships are those between two people who rely on each other, but are also independent. They love each other, but they also love and value themselves.

Take the time to focus on taking care of yourself as well as taking care of each other. Be kind and compassionate to yourself, just as you would be to your partner.

5. It makes you live longer

Research has shown that married couples live longer than single people. It is believed that the social and emotional support that spouses provide to each other. Also, as well as the fact that partners very often discourage each other from bad habits, contribute to that.