Love is Good for Heart Health

Love is Good for Heart Health

By Cynthia Thaik, M.D.

Having love in your life is good for heart health. Whether it’s from a passionate lover, affectionate spouse, close friend, or adoring parent or pet, showing and receiving love is the best medicine for a healthy, happy heart. Here’s why.

Love Lowers Blood Pressure

Embracing someone you love, bantering with your best friend, snuggling with your soulmate, or petting your pooch is good for heart health. This is because the peace and calm that come from love help you lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease. Studies conducted at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami in Florida show that when people are given a stressful task–such as speaking in public or taking a timed math test–they have lower blood pressure and heart rates when they hold hands or are being hugged by someone they love.

Love Reduces Stress

Sharing the ups and downs of life with someone you trust and love can reduce stress. In fact, when you give and receive regular hugs from those you love, the feel-good hormone oxytocin is released. Oxytocin can reduce the stress on your heart and strengthen your immune system. And, according to scientists at the University of Vienna, this helps bring your body into balance and improves your heart health.

Love Makes Your Heart Stronger

When you are with someone you adore, and who makes your heart race, love is like an aerobic exercise. A CNN Matters of the Heart article describes that when you catch sight of your beloved and your heart starts racing, that’s because of an adrenaline rush. Your brain releases the hormones adrenaline, dopamine, and norepinephrine which make your heart beat stronger. This excitement is good for heart health as it pumps blood more efficiently.

Love Keeps Your Heart Happy

By giving and receiving love, you’re more likely to lead a healthier life. People who are active, compassionate, and generous have higher levels of happiness and live longer than people who live a solitary life. Happy people tend to have younger hearts and younger arteries, which are key to good heart health.

Love Helps You Heal Quicker

Surrounding yourself with people who love you when you are sick, can speed up your recovery. In a Huffington Post article, Dr. Cynthia describes that love can decrease inflammation, improve immunity, and is a potent pain reliever. All of which lead to healthy healing.

Love Adds Years to Your Life

Romance and sex can add years to your life. Studies show that people who have regular romance and sex tend to be healthier, with a longer life, lower risk of heart disease, and lower blood pressure.

Love Starts with You

Before you can love anyone else, you need to love yourself. By loving yourself you will be more lovable and better able to love others. For more information about how love is good for heart health, see Dr. Cynthia’s book, Your Vibrant Heart.

About the author

Dr. Cynthia Thaik, M.D. is a Harvard-trained cardiologist serving the greater Los Angeles community at her holistic health center in Burbank and Valencia, CA. Dr. Thaik is the author of Your Vibrant Heart: Restoring Health, Strength, and Spirit from the Body’s Core. To learn more about Dr. Thaik or the Holistic Healing Heart Center, or to schedule an appointment, please contact staff@drcynthia.com or call (818) 842-1410.