Does love heal the heart?

Love is a strong emotion that positively impacts humans’ hearts, bodies, minds, and souls. However, you don’t have to be in a romantic relationship to experience the healing effects of love. Surrounding yourself with close friends, caring parents, or a loving pet can heal your heart too.

This is why healthcare providers often highlight the importance of good social support to patients—because, believe it or not, yes, love does heal. woman in black and white striped shirt hugging girl in black and white striped shirt
Love /luhv/ (noun) A feeling or disposition of deep affection or fondness for someone.

1. Love is the antidote to stress

Feeling loved makes us feel good, but why so? During moments of stress, our body releases cortisol, a steroid hormone associated with activating the fight-or-flight response in our bodies. High cortisol levels may increase the risk of hypertension, diabetes, and heart diseases [1]. a man holds his head while sitting on a sofa On the other hand, during moments of feeling loved, our body releases oxytocin, a hormone that reduces cardiovascular stress. Moreover, oxytocin also promotes the release of “feel-good hormones” such as dopamine and serotonin [2]. In short, love can counteract the negative cascades of events in our bodies, allowing us to feel better from within.  

2. Falling in love > falling sick

Love and affection may increase the production of immunoglobulin A (IgA), an antibody that’s active in mucous membranes in the mouth, nose, trachea, lungs, stomach, intestines, and urinary bladder. According to a study published by the Psychological Reports, 19 students who spent roughly 18 minutes petting a dog demonstrated a significant increase in IgA levels compared to 36 other students who didn’t participate [3]. smiling woman in white crew neck t-shirt holding brown and white short coated puppy This means that your body will likely fight off foreign invaders more effectively, resulting in a lower risk of inflammation and a stronger immune system.  

3. Love improves the quality of our lives

It’s easy to fall into the trap of anxiety or depression during the lowest points of our lives. But knowing that you’re loved and cared for can change that. Though love cannot “cure” any mental disorders, it can definitely help someone overcome their challenges. In addition, simple gestures such as saying something nice or lending your ears during periods of difficulty can go a long way.  

4. Better love, better sleep

Sleeping well allows your body to rest adequately and maintain your heart health. In addition, sleeping next to someone you love makes you feel more calm and relaxed. People who sleep side-by-side with someone they love sleep much better than those who sleep alone [4]. Young Girls Sleeping Together Though there’s no conclusive reasoning for this phenomenon, it could be because people who feel cared for are less likely to be anxious or depressed, which helps them get a good night’s rest. This, in turn, will make sure your body can do as much reparative work as possible throughout your sleep to ensure good overall well-being.  

5. Love can reduce the risk of heart attack

Heart attack, also known as myocardial infarction, is a life-threatening condition that results from blocked blood flow to the heart. Various treatments and preventative measures are in place to avoid the risk of a heart attack. But let’s not forget that loving yourself and having a positive outlook on life plays a substantial role too. In 2016, the European Heart Journal published a clinical research article discussing the association between positive attitudes and cardiovascular events [5]. First, researchers objectively measured the positive attitudes of 1739 adults through a 12-minute in-person interview. Then, they checked the health records of these individuals over the following ten years to identify any incidences of cardiovascular disease. After the follow-up, the researchers concluded that increased positive attitudes were protective against 10-year incident coronary heart disease. This suggests that the feeling of joy, enthusiasm, contentment, and overall positivity may be practiced as a preventative strategy.  

Bottom line

Having love in your life is paramount to living a happy life and cultivating a healthy heart. So always remember to surround yourself with people you love. And do not forget to practice self-love too; it’s just as important! Remember to love yourself and be kind to yourself (even during dark days). The more you love yourself, the better prepared you will be to receive love from others. And with more love, your heart will be able to feel better than ever. woman in yellow shirt holding yellow fruit Start your journey of loving your life and everyone in it today!

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