There is nothing better than to have a loving spouse to spend the rest of your life with. In fact studies show that marriage can increase your life expectancy. That doesn’t imply that you should get married over and over again. Marriage will only contribute to your longevity if you are in a long standing relationship.
Research shows a significant correlation between couples who have been married for many years and longevity. A happily married person is more likely to live longer than the person who’s single, divorced or widowed. Their mental health is better; they are happier and more financially secure and are overall physically healthier. Marriage offers companionship, increased financial security, sexual gratification without the risks of sexually transmitted diseases, and a respite from stresses of single life.
Love is a powerful emotion that stirs the hormones and excites the chemistry in our bodies. The feel good chemicals enhance our health, thereby adding years to our life.
Dopamine: – also called the pleasure chemical provides feelings of enjoyment, bliss and euphoria. It also plays an important role in cardiovascular, renal, hormonal and the central nervous system.
Oxytocin: – When two people are in love and have sex, the chemical oxytocin is released. A study at the University of California, San Francisco found that oxytocin is associated with “the ability to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships and healthy psychological boundaries with other people.” Oxytocin is released during orgasm, and begins creating an emotional bond; the more sex, the greater the bond.
Oxytocin also counteracts the effects of cortisol, the stress hormone. It’s known as nature’s antidepressant and anti-anxiety hormone. By easing stress, oxytocin helps to heal countless diseases related to stress.
Vasopressin: – According to Dr. Helen Fisher (Anthropologist and well known love researcher from Rutgers University) Vasopressin is associated with the formation of long-term, monogamous relationships. It has recently gained interest as a potential agent in the treatment of cardio respiratory arrest.
Endorphins – play a key role in long-term relationships. According to Michel Odent of London’s Primal Health Research Center states that endorphins are released during sex and also during physical activity causing feelings of euphoria, relaxation, peacefulness, a sense of well being and security. Endorphins has a variety of health benefits, including stress reduction, improved immune system and decreased pain perception.Phenylethylamine: – also known as the Love molecule; causes you to go week at the knees, sweaty palms and giddy. Phenylethylamine helps produce hormones that create positive feelings.
Research at the University of Chicago and John Hopkins University; show that those that were divorced and those that were divorced and widowed who didn’t remarry, had the worse health on all dimensions. Chicago Sociologist Linda Waite (Professor in sociology and Director of the Center on Aging at the National Opinion Research Center at the University) stated; “Based on genetics and other factors, people enter adulthood with a particular “stock” of health, other research has shown “Each person’s experience of marital gain and loss transition to marriage tends to bring immediate health benefits, in that it improves health behavior in men and financial well-being in women.”
The benefit of a long lasting relationship continues to enhance your life even in your twilight years. A cuddle, a touch and holding of hands will still excite those hormones and put a smile on your face.
How Love Works: by Lee Ann Obringer
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