It is not a coincidence that having Close Relationships Boost Heart Health. A new study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine and conducted at Cornell University finds that lonely people are 40% more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than those with an active social life.
The study focused on people who regularly interact with others. Whether through work, family, or friends and found a correlation between regular social interaction and physical and mental boosts.
“There’s this assumption that loneliness is just a state of mind,” said the study’s lead author Joan Song, a professor at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. “But it bodily affects you on a cellular level.”
Despite the study, there is still no explanation of how loneliness affects cardiovascular health, but researchers speculate that stress and depression could play a part. The good news: It takes only a small amount of social interaction to make you feel better. According to Song, simply speaking with someone else for as little as five minutes can make a big difference.
Close Relationships Boost Heart Health
The study examined the relationships in some ways. They analyzed the social network to identify the key connections.
They also used a self-reported measure of loneliness and depression, and they collected data about people’s physical health and mortality over time.
The team found that those who had close, strong relationships were less likely to die from any cause than those who were lonely or depressed. Notably, the benefits of being popular extended to individuals’ health.
Even if people were lonely or depressed, having lots of friends helped protect their hearts.
An annual health check-up is a great chance to chat with your doctor about what’s important in life. It might just be the opportunity you need to ensure that you’re taking care of the most important person of all – you!
Close relationships were more strongly related to mortality when loneliness or depression was present. This suggests that social connections are particularly protective against poor health in people who experience loneliness and depression.
The benefits of having a good social network were more substantial for older people. Ageing, with its physical challenges, could be a factor here.
These findings add to the growing evidence that social relationships are, in fact, fundamental to our health and well-being. And remember, hanging out on Facebook won’t help you meet that goal – research shows that online communication isn’t as good at protecting against loneliness and depression.
So, if you want a stronger heart, a healthier body and longer life — get out there and connect.
Why is Relationship Good for Your Heart?
A lot of people often wonder why is it that relationship is good for our heart health. They are wondering how exactly does it improve us?
When we interact with other people, this has a relaxing effect on our body and mind at physiological and psychological levels.
As a result of the process mentioned above and the fact that close relationships can positively impact how we feel about ourselves, they improve physical health and mental health. It is like improving everything by one big step forward!
Other factors might be at play. There is a well-known fact that good relationships improve our quality of life. They make us happier, lessen the stress and help us lead a more enjoyable life.
Another possible explanation for why a relationship is good for health can be found in what we call the “tend-and-befriend” theory. This theory suggests that when we feel that our environment is unsafe, we tend to befriend and create a stronger bond.
This is exactly what happens in cases of isolation or loneliness as well. It makes us want to spend more time with others, especially those very close to us, in a spiritual sense.
This theory can be easily seen in the animals’ world, which is a big pointer towards its credibility. It has been observed that when the animal feels threatened, they come closer to one another and form strong bonds.
They even adopt their child’s characteristics like colour or behaviour to protect them from predators, which again shows how important it is to feel safe and secure.
It is not just that relationships are good for our physical health but also mental health. By “mental health”, we mean the quality of experience someone has when dealing with life’s situations. The most common example here would be depression or anxiety disorders. As mentioned above, close relations can reduce the chances of someone developing these issues.
How can a happy relationship help your health?
Relationships are one of the main things we need to make us happy. Without a good relationship, life can seem rather powerless and miserable. In such cases, it is very hard for any person to have a positive attitude towards life as they will always be focusing on what or who they lack.
Someone with a broken heart would never stop complaining about it and would never be able to focus on the good things around them. And this happens for a simple reason that if you are in a bad relationship. Your mind will always think about all the negative things happening to you and what is not going well.
On the other hand, when we are in a happy relationship, everything around us seems to be better and brighter – this is true! When our partner loves us or appreciates all our efforts, it boosts our self-esteem, making us more confident and willing to deal with problems and move forward.
As mentioned above, studies show that happy relationships improve the quality of life and help us deal with even more serious issues like depression or anxiety disorders. These close relations make us happier by making our lives seem better and brighter.
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How Does Love Affect Your Heart?
Love keeps us going in life. It is a feeling that if we are not experiencing, everything seems so incomparably dull. Studies show that every single human being needs to love and be loved. It is like an addiction – the more you get of this “drug”, the less your heart can cope with not receiving it.
Studies say that your heart moves faster – 1% faster than normal when you fall in love. However, with time, its speed increases even more by 15-20%. This means that at the beginning of a relationship, all you need is to look at your partner to feel butterflies in your stomach and get pretty excited about it.
This increased heart rate is caused by many things: the feeling of excitement, passion and deep infatuation. All these feelings cause a strong stimulation of adrenaline which then causes more heartbeats per minute.
But you will probably be surprised to know that it takes just an hour after your first date for your brain to produce dopamine. It is the chemical that can make you feel happier and more alive. The increase in dopamine levels makes you more focused on your partner while also increasing focus, attention span and mental alertness.
It is interesting to note that this dose of love is rather big, which means that it takes over your whole body, and every single cell starts to produce dopamine without even one of them being able to escape. It is a nice feeling which is why most people fall in love the first time. They cannot help it and do not even want to control it.
In fact, and as mentioned above, you will probably never be able to feel this happy after having just one cup of coffee if you consider that you will need to drink about 50 cups of coffee to feel the same rush.
The Bottom Line
Studies have shown that people with close relationships are healthier and live longer than those without them. Close relationships are important for your health and well-being. Studies have shown that close relationships can reduce stress, increase happiness, and improve heart health.
Suppose you want to know more about these studies or deepen the quality of your relationships with other people in your life. Let us know in the comments below!