There’s no doubting you’ve heard it before: relationships aren’t always sunshine and rainbows. But according to experts there is a trick to keeping the love alive long-term (no compromise or couples counselling required).
It’s all about daily physical contact.
“When touch is wanted, it basically communicates, ‘I’m on your side,’” David J. Linden, professor of neuroscience at John Hopkins University tells Health.
No matter if you’re the recipient or the instigator, he believes a simple hug hello or a quick rub on the back is “pretty good for what ails you.
This theory is also backed by science. When we literally connect with a romantic partner, our brains boost our levels of oxytocin (aka, the love hormone) which helps to sustain feelings of deep attachment.
But the benefits don’t stop at bonding.
Multiple studies suggest that physical contact can actually up health and wellbeing (by keeping stress levels in check) and even reduce pain.
This is because our bodies produce more of the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin and in turn, less cortisole. Our heart rate and blood pressure also goes down and our brain waves make the change to relaxation mode. And research shows when we’re in a state of zen, we’re more likely to be feeling satisfied with our S.O too.
“It’s amazing how touch can really facilitate relationships,” developmental psychologist Dr Tiffany Field told the publication.
“It’s very important that people remain touch with each other to keep their stress levels down and their pain levels down – and keep their wellness up.”