Love & Mental Health: A Connection Deeper Than You Think
- Smitakshi Guha
- 3 Min Read
For eons, love has been celebrated in many ways. Platonic or romantic—when it comes to love, to define is to limit, and honestly, love truly is limitless. Be it in the form of attachment or care, love has a key role to play in our lives and our mental health. It can move mountains when it’s right. But when it’s wrong, it can make you feel stranded at the end of a precipice.
What you feel about your day and your life together depends on how loved you feel. Here are some of the key influences of love on your mental health—
Love makes you happy
The cloud-nine feeling you get when you fall in love and the butterflies you experience in your stomach area due to the release of dopamine—a feel-good brain chemical. This makes you feel positive and good about yourself. One thing to remember is that when your love is new, along with happiness and positivity, there’s also a fear of the unknown as you’re filled with anticipation. There’s a secretion of cortisol, the stress hormone in your body that can make you feel anxious and worried during the initial stages of your relationship. However, the good news is that with progress with your relationship in the right direction, the cortisol levels will gradually return to normal.
Love is a stress-buster
Dopamine is all about the honeymoon phase of your relationship. So, what happens when that honeymoon phase is over? Well, then arrives the bonding phase, wherein your body releases the bonding hormone called oxytocin. As you start getting attached to your partner, that attachment becomes the antidote to every apprehension that you may have in life. Even when you’re physically away from your partner, a simple text or phone call from them can exorcise your stress and soothe you.
Love makes you look after yourself better
Believe it or not, a lot of medical conditions go unnoticed and undiagnosed, simply because we’re too ignorant or less-bothered to acknowledge it can happen to us. Our usual attitude is, ‘This can’t be serious!’ When you’re in a relationship, your partner notices things in you and about you in more ways than you can imagine. Hence, any physical unusualness or abnormality that you choose to ignore will be noticed by your partner. Be it a fever, cough, or sudden weight loss or hyperpigmentation—they will always encourage you to get it checked by a medical professional. This way, they help you take better care of yourself.
Love relieves anxiety
Studies say that loneliness plays a key role in stimulating anxiety, which in turn activates your body’s stress response. This is because in all possibilities when you feel like you’re all alone, you feel threatened and insecure. On the other hand, when you’re with a partner who appreciates and cherishes you for who you are, it automatically boosts your self-esteem and confidence and mitigates your anxiety to a great extent.
Love helps you live longer
No, this doesn’t mean that to live longer, you should not be single! Love exists in all forms. Be it your partner or your family and friends—when you’re loved dearly, you’re bound to get that much needed mental and emotional support. Your medical needs are catered to better and you know it for sure that you have someone loving to count on, come what may. This naturally maximizes your shot at life.
So, make sure that you’re always surrounded by love. It’s free to give and receive but its impact is priceless.