(NaturalNews) Isn't love grand? Besides being exciting and fulfilling, it also turns out that it is good for your health and longevity. Studies and experts agree: having a caring and loving relationship can lead to a healthier, happier and longer life. Traveling with a partner can make it that much better.
The health benefits of a loving, caring relationship
Experts agree that it takes a happy, calm and stable relationship to yield the best health benefits and they caution that an unhappy relationship can result in negative health consequences. When you do have a positive relationship, here are some of the many benefits according to experts and research:
Stronger immune system
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found that people who exhibit positive emotions are less likely to get sick after exposure to cold or flu viruses
Ohio State University Medical Center researchers found that blister wounds healed nearly twice as fast in spouses who interacted warmly toward each other.
Better cardiovascular health
People with stable relationships also tend to have more stable blood pressure. A study in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine found happily married people had the best blood pressure, followed by singles. Unhappily married participants fared the worst.
Less depression and substance abuse
According to a Health and Human Services report, getting married and staying married reduces depression in both men and women. Marriage also contributes to a decline in heavy drinking and drug abuse, especially among young adults.
A growing body of research indicates that married people live longer. One of the largest studies found that people who had never been married were 58 percent more likely to die than married people.
Note that though most studies have focused on marriage, other loving and caring relationships likely have the same benefits - for example, partners, parents, or friends. "There is solid evidence that people who participate in satisfying, long-term relationships fare better on a whole variety of health measures," says Harry Reis, PhD, co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Human Relationships.
Other benefits of a healthy, caring relationship include:
Travel can help people establish and maintain a healthy lifestyle, says Dr. David Lipschitz, director of the Center on Aging at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Lipschitz says that the two most important factors for longevity are health and happiness, and travel helps to foster both. Traveling with a spouse or significant other is a great way for couples to stay mentally sharp, reconnect through shared experiences, rekindle romance and increase intimacy.
Love and relationship tips
When looking for love, many miss out due to trying to find the "perfect partner." As the saying goes, "Perfect love comes not from finding someone perfect to love, but rather finding how to love someone who is imperfect perfectly."
Once you have found love and/or companionship, remember that it takes effort to keep love and relationships strong and fresh. Here are some tips on how to keep relationships from fading:
1. Be a caring listener who is attentive to your partner's needs. 2. Vary your daily routine and try doing new things - such as new hobbies or visiting new sights. 4. Small gestures of endearment can reap big returns. For example: a caring note or card, a handpicked bunch of flowers, making an unexpected dinner with candlelight, a small, unexpected gift, etc. 5. Always be aware that love is not a one-way street and that a world for two cannot revolve around just one.