Happy Love Day! Today is a day used traditionally to express our undying love for our mates by showering them with gifts, dinner, wine and love at the end of the night. But experiencing love has lasting effects beyond February 14. Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, experiencing love year-round is a vital key to optimal health. And if you don’t have a boo, you can still reap the benefits of love.

Just feeling love from family and friends can yield the same health benefits as love from a mate (Heard of “Galentine’s Day?”).

Here are five ways love can improve your health to encourage love 365 days a year:

Love softens anxiety. Experiencing love and support from others has a calming affect, allowing us to express ourselves and prepares us to move through the world with courage.

Love makes you happy. The feeling of falling in love increases dopamine levels, the hormone that plays a role in pleasure and motivation. So love can be considered a natural drug.

Love releases stress. Just being with someone you love can lower cortisol and adrenaline levels.

Love makes you care for yourself more overall. Studies show that when we feel love by family, friends or our children, we take better care of ourselves and strive to make ourselves better. Feeling love gives us the support needed to face the challenges of the world. Research also shows that couples encourage each other to go to the doctor.

Love makes you live longer. Studies show that married couples enjoy greater longevity than singles when consistent emotional support is present.

Lastly, be encouraged to show love to someone who needs it. You could be improving their health too.

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