Happy Valentine’s Day from your resident Doctor here at Lyric Health. Did you know St. Valentine’s Day was originally a Christian feast day named after Saint Valentine. Now morphed into Valentine’s Day, it has become one of the most significant celebrations of romance and love. It has also become the prime day of commercialization of cards, flowers, and candy used to express love, respect, thanks, gratitude, and gifts to persuade, assuage, and even apologize.
But as we’ve often heard in prose and song, every day should be Valentine’s Day, and for a good reason. When our relationships are nurtured and tended to consistently, if not daily, there are unlimited health benefits for the relationship and its participants.
Countless studies have shown that a happy relationship or marriage benefits physical and emotional health.
According to the American Heart Association News (Feb 5, 2020), people in happy marriages had lower blood pressure than people who weren’t married. But people in strained marriages fared worse than single people. In addition, these studies have shown that physical intimacy, such as holding hands or hugging, can lower stress hormones. And when it comes to love itself, the production of the love hormone oxytocin brings about feelings of warmth and satisfaction.
Loving and happy relationships in which the partners consistently and positively connect emotionally and physically help us become stronger in character and foster a partnership that helps reduce daily stress and build resiliency to address and overcome trauma. As well the opposite is true.
Researchers at the Universities of Nevada and Michigan monitored 373 heterosexual couples. They found that those who disagree often have poorer health, including adverse responses in the body such as inflammation, appetite changes, and increased release of stress hormones, which can negatively affect the immune system and other bodily functions (Liverpool, The Guardian, 2018).
A 2020 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has shown that daily 11 minutes of daily exercise can bring about health benefits and a longer life. A few minutes a day of showing your partner attention, love, and admiration can provide improved emotional and physical health.
Amherst College (2022) has provided several very healthy tips that you can utilize daily to improve your relationship romance:
- Take the time to talk to each other every day. This may sound academic, but the reality is that in today’s busy world, partners can be like two passing ships in the night. Too often, all our efforts are devoted to children or even pets. Ask questions, share information, and listen to one another.
- People grow apart, which can be a source of stress, but if we change our perception of this growth, it does not have to be intimidating. In fact, it can be exciting, as your partner most likely wants you to keep up and reach your potential, resulting in the next and new chapter in your romance with one another.
- Have your partner’s back. Let your partner know that no matter what they are going through, they have a place of solitude and support in your presence and in the love you share together. Your partner should be your best friend and the first person you come to when there is any sign of trouble or conflict.
- Be loving, affirming, and complementary to one another consistently. This can be manifested in words, actions, touch, and regular sexual intimacy.
- Be yourself and be authentic. That will encourage your partner to do the same, making the relationship more authentic and honest. Being secure in your partner’s fidelity allows for vulnerability, trust-enhanced feelings of sexuality, and deeper romance.