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Love: a Path to Health & Happiness

Love: a Path to Health & Happiness
By Dr. Debbie Palmer 5 years ago No comments

Tell someone today that you love them; your heart, and your health, will be better off because of it.

We've all heard the saying that "Love makes the world go round". But I can add to this that "Love has the power to influence your health", not to mention your happiness.

Study after study shows that people who have a strong, loving social circle have a more positive view of life and are less stressed overall, have a stronger immune system[1], have decreased health issues (like heart disease), and live longer[2].

This is not surprising: friends and family are essentially what makes our hearts and spirits happy.

Even just giving someone a hug makes a difference: Researchers found that greater social support and frequent hugs protect stressed people from illness and disease. And when social people do get sick, this social network protects them from more severe illness symptoms[3].

I would also say that people who give love and who are surrounded by love are happier and more beautiful: they have a natural glow about them—as well as an indescribable energy—that radiates from the inside out to the skin.

So go ahead, give someone a hug today — or just tell someone close to you that you love them.

Happy Valentine's Day!

RESOURCES

[1] "Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System: A Meta-Analytic Study of 30 Years of Inquiry," Suzanne C. Segerstrom and Gregory E. Miller, Psychological Bulletin, July 2004, 130(4), 601-630;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361287/

[2] "Happy People Live Longer: Subjective Well-Being Contributes to Health and Longevity," Ed Diener and Micaela Y. Chan, Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, March 2011, 3(1), 1-43;http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1758-0854.2010.01045.x/full

[3] "Does Hugging Provide Stress-Buffering Social Support? A Study of Susceptibility to Upper Respiratory Infection and Illness," Sheldon Cohen, Denise Janicki-Deverts, Ronald B. Turner, et al., Psychological Science, December 19, 2014 pub online before print;http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/12/17/0956797614559284