Falling in love feels great.  Falling out of love hurts. Do those things impact more than just our emotional well-being?

The answer is a resounding yes! Falling in love and sex as a physical act of love can have a variety of impacts, both physical and mental.

Physically, love can have these benefits:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce stress levels
  • Improve your sleep patterns
  • Boost your immune system

The positive mental impacts can:

  • Improve your self esteem
  • Bolster your self confidence
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Blunt the impacts of depression and reduce your chances of becoming depressed

Although it takes some of the romanticism out of the equation to know it, the big drivers here are hormonal.  In particular, being in love increases both the dopamine and oxytocin levels in your body, and it is these that help drive most of the positive benefits, both mental and physical.

There’s a dark side to the equation though, and that of course, is falling out of love.  Just as falling in and being in love can give you a raft of benefits, falling out of love or being rejected can hurt you in real and tangible ways.

You may not realize it, but there’s an actual condition called Broken Heart Syndrome. If you have it, it can seriously impact your health.  The stress caused by the condition can actually cause the heart to enlarge, which can be fatal.  In addition to that, falling out of love or being rejected dramatically increases your stress levels, disrupts your sleep patterns, and can lead to deep depression.

The good news is that the heart is resilient, and we can rebound from falling out of love or being rejected.  If you’ve been profoundly hurt by someone, take plenty of time for self-care and give yourself time to heal.  It may not feel like it at the outset, but things will get better!