All we need is love, right? Turn on any genre of music and within the first minute or two, you’re bound to hear someone crooning about it. And unless you’re listening to Disney children’s music with the grandkids, you’re not likely to hear so much as a stanza about the other things we REALLY need; when’s the last time you sang along to a song about fruits and veggies, or staying hydrated?
And yet even our physical needs and well-being are impacted by love. Check out these fascinating benefits to be gained by opening your heart a little more to those around you:
L Longevity. It’s true; we actually live longer if we’re giving and receiving love. In fact, premature death leaps to a 50% greater likelihood from all causes in those who lack the connection of strong relationships.
O Optimism. I’ve shared before about the incredible link between remaining positive and enhancing quality of life, but the reverse can be true as well; those engaged in healthy, fulfilling relationships can’t help but be more optimistic – and so the cycle continues.
V Vigor. Feeling sluggish? Fall in love! Those with strong emotional ties are reported to have more energy and joy for living, sleep more soundly, and lower their level of stress. In fact, the simple act of caring for another triggers the release of the hormones that reduce stress.
E Enrichment. So many of our life experiences are enhanced dramatically when shared. Close, healthy relationships give our self-worth a boost, help us to kick bad habits, and give us an overall sense of belonging and reason for living; but also cut our risk for depression, obesity, high blood pressure, and even developing dementia.
It’s important for those of us in the aging care realm to keep in mind that love knows no age limitations, and is just as – or even more – crucial in later years. Helping seniors enhance socialization may even afford them the opportunity to kindle a new romance, providing a new lease on life with a plethora of health benefits. At the end of the day – and at the end of our lives – all that will really have mattered is love.