Does Love Have Heart Health Benefits?
Very few people associate love with heart health, but the two actually have quite the connection. Love in all its forms promotes blood flow, reduces stress hormones, expands blood vessels, and can lower cholesterol levels. A fast heartbeat and the sudden rush of endorphins brought on by a passion for life, experiences, or love for another send beneficial hormones into our system that makes our heart beat vivaciously. Even if you don’t have a specific special someone, overall positivity and a flourishing outlook on life safeguards our bodies against cardiovascular disease. Keeping the following fundamentals in mind amid everyday living will help keep love at the forefront of your life.
Love and Laughter Will Increase Your Quality of Life
Reducing stress hormones is one of the more popular data points in the link between laughter and heart health that are more well known, but believe it or not, research shows that laughing can boost immunity, relieve pain and give your belly a good workout. That waterfall-like cleansing feeling that washes over us after a good laugh provides a much-needed physical and emotional release that can alter our physiological well-being for the better. With laughter also comes additional benefits such as a healthy distraction from stress, a change in perspective, and laughter is a powerful tool in cultivating community.
When in Doubt, Hug it Out
The character Lucy Miller (Liliana Mumy) in Disney’s “The Santa Claus 3: The Escape Claus” used her magical hugs to thaw a very icy Jack Frost from his frozen state. Her Uncle Scott (Tim Allen), who is actually Santa Claus, said that she always had warm hugs because her heart was filled with love. Who knew that this heartwarming scene in a fictional story was actually similar to the real-life effect of hugs. A warm embrace floods the body with oxytocin, which lowers blood pressure and reduces stress. Research shows that whether hugging a fellow human or furry-friend, making time to hug it out will make you healthier in the long run.
A Lack of Love Can Impact Our Health
As much as love increases heart health, a broken heart can negatively impact this core organ. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, commonly known as broken heart syndrome, is a real medical condition that causes valve issues and heart enlargement. The good news is that this condition is treatable with reduced stress and overall tender loving care, but at its height, the disease can cause serious problems that last from weeks to months.
Being in Love With Life is the Key
The key to harnessing the power of love to increase heart health is tapping into love inspired positivity, laughter, and happiness daily. Love surrounds us and can be found everywhere in this journey called life. Often all we need to do is reach within and reach out. Deep connections can be found in our work, with our families, with friends, pets, significant others, hobbies, and in helping others. Making an effort to increase love in our lives is a choice that can be acted upon no matter where you are in life. Giving love and loving without rules or restrictions is the best way to receive it, and looking for ways to fall in love every day can increase heart health and promote longevity.