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  1. You feel happier. Having healthy and supportive relationships can have a big impact on our happiness level, according to several studies.Being in love has a big effect on your oxytocin level, which promotes bonding and comfort. This is why being around loved ones can boost your mood. 

  2. You live longer. It's been a long-held theory that married people live longer than their single counterparts. The majority of studies show that being in a healthy relationship allows people to live a longer life. My theory is that being in a loving relationship not only reduces stress by having a safe space (person), but also provides companionship and you're more likely to get help when you present symptoms as your partner will push for you to visit your doctor.  

  3. You stay younger for longer. A study by the University of Missouri Department of Human Development and Family Studies found that people who were in happy families actually rated their health as better, even in old age, compared with those who were single who had an unhappy family life.

  4. You feel less stressed. A study from the University of Chicago suggested that people who are married or in committed relationships actually have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. "These results suggest that single and unpaired individuals are more responsive to psychological stress than married individuals, a finding consistent with a growing body of evidence showing that marriage and social support can buffer against stress," researchers wrote. On the contrary loneliness is a bigger risk factor for death and disease than smoking and obesity. If stress kills = good relationships keep you healthy. 

  5. It improves our mental health. Healthy relationships produce a  higher feeling of social integration and support. This support is really important when we are going through tough times. Those of us, in the most healthy relationships, can still suffer from mental illness, and it's good to know that the support of a loving friend or family member can help us out. 

  6.  You feel less pain. A study suggested that when people are "in love" and look at a photo of the object of their affection, they actually feel less pain than those who don't have anyone they identify as loving deeply. Researchers found that the dopamine system that is deployed when you're in love can create its own form of natural pain killers, lessening the severity of pain. 

  7. It can help to prevent a heart attack. A study by the European Society of Cardiology suggested that marriage reduces the risk of having a heart attack. Researchers found that the reasons behind the results likely come from the fact that having a partner can encourage you to look after your overall health, and that married people have someone who would encourage them to go to the doctor. This probably links back to the dampening effect of good relationships on stress and how consistently high levels of stress impacts the heart. 

  8. It can help you get a better night's sleep. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that people who slept next to their significant other had lower levels of cortisol, which allowed them to sleep better. A separate study found that women in long-term-relationships slept more soundly and fell asleep more quickly. 

  9. It can help you recover faster. A study found that happy couple who were administered small blisters actually healed more quickly than those who were blistered, yet single. This improved healing rate is probably down to the “cuddle hormone” oxytocin which lowers stress levels speeding up the healing process.  

  10. Less likely to struggle with addiction. Although many of us may know people who drink to deal with conflict in relationships, studies show how healthy relationships contribute to a reduction in alcohol and drug abuse. This may be because it provides us with other avenues for dealing with stress or because the love and compassion of others motivates us to partake in less risky behavior. 

By now I hope you're convinced that healthy relationships are good for us. The next step is learning how to sustain and build healthy relationships. Stay tuned for articles on this topic. 

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