Yeah, it’s Valentine’s day. It’s all about love, and if you happen to be in a beautifully commited relationship, you’ve got even more to be glad about then the free kisses and whispered sweet nothings.
It’s a many splendored thing, they say. It lifts us up where we belong. It makes the world go round. But is it really all that good for you? Is love really all you need?
Of course it isn’t. While it is important to have and great to feel, love is just one several necessities required for survival. You need food, water, and shelter, despite what the poets may say. But love does make things better, and not just emotionally.
Love can improve your life in a variety of ways, and fortunately there’s a variety of love out there.
Here are some of the health benefits of love…
In Sickness and In Health
Here’s a horrible statistic:
Single people tend to die sooner, 58% sooner than married folks, according to the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Statistically, they tend to be less active physically, and give into vices like drinking or smoking more often.
Maybe it’s because being single is stressful.
Actually, there are no maybes about it. Happily married couples have been shown to exhibit lower stress levels. Having an in-house support structure and an extra head for thinking and remembering can definitely relieve some anxieties.
And as we know stress can be a big contributor to bad health.
My roommate has a dog. This dog loves me. It’s ridiculous. And even though part of me wishes a person could show me that much devotion and loyalty, I don’t know if I could handle that level of commitment.
A dog just isn’t man’s best friend. A dog can love you, regardless of your gender.
And having a dog can be a great health benefit. They’ll keep you active, what with all those walks you need to take them on, or face smelly consequences.
Dogs can act as a support system, providing comfort against loneliness. Many nursing homes are taking this concept to heart, supplying their residents with a canine companion.
Friends with Benefits
No, not those benefits.
It has been said that the modern form of family isn’t made of people you happen to be related to, but those who you’ve encountered and chosen to include in your life.
We tend to be drawn to people who have a similar point of view or interests. We share with our friends. We share ideas and stuff, good times and bad times. But there will be differences, and those can work to your advantage.
Friends are fonts of knowledge. They can serve as mentors as well as companions. Younger friends can keep you young with current events, music trends, and technological advances. Older friends can offer insight and wisdom. Friends of a similar generation will get your jokes and references. All of these things will keep you mentally sharp.