Wanderlust: Expat Life & Style in Thailand The Relationships Issue - Page 32

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Health & Wellness

THE POWER OF LOVE :

HOW LOVE CAN HELP KEEP YOU HEALTHY

A happy relationship can do everything from reduce anxiety to aid recovery from cancer . But it ’ s not just romantic relationships that are responsible for your physical and emotional wellbeing , as we learn in this article by Annaliese Watkins .

“ there is love there is life ,” wrote Mahatma Ghandi , and he was perhaps more right than even he knew . In recent years , countless studies have extolled the benefits of love . From our health and happiness to our longevity , research indicates that love relationships can improve our wellbeing .

While the majority of these studies focused on marriage , researchers stop short of saying that romantic love is more powerful than that felt from friendships or familial relationships . Research has even suggested that there are few benefits to be had from the intense , passionate stages of a new romance , regarding satisfying , long-term partnerships as necessary to experience clear health benefits . And strong friendships and familial love can help keep your mind and body in good shape , too .
So , it ’ s not just about sweethearts . The key is a sense of belonging and connection to other people . How individuals experience and interpret love is down to personal circumstances , but the good news is that physical intimacy , friendship and caring can all play important roles in improving our wellbeing . In other words , if you feel respected and valued by those around you , you can reap the health benefits of human connection .
Of course , no relationship can guarantee health and happiness . But love — in whatever form — can
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