Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis
It's easy to speak to the emotional experience of falling in love—you feel giddy, your mind is consumed with thoughts of your significant other, and it feels like you two are the only people on the planet. But what about the physical experience? When measured over time, being in love with your partner can do a lot more than make your heart race or fill up your stomach with butterflies. In fact, as Brides recently pointed out, love can actually have a positive influence on your health, both mental and physical, over the course of a lifetime.
Most impressively, love can actually reduce your stress levels, alleviate feelings of pain, cure headaches, lower your risk of heart attack, and lower your blood pressure, according to separate studies from Stanford University, the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the State University of New York at Oswego, and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
As Stanford points out, a lot of this has to do with the release of oxytocin in the brain, which doctors have dubbed "the love hormone." Other studies have found a connection between the physical presence of one's spouse or partner and lowered blood pressure, stress and anxiety relief, and reduced risk of a heart attack. Researchers have even compared falling in love to drug addiction, with much healthier side effects, of course.
Have you ever experienced these side effects of being in love? Share your experience with us below!