Last updated on Jul 7th, 2020 at 02:37 pm

Love is a wonderful thing, but stress is not. Fortunately, new research has found that love may help relieve stress. Find out how…

Whether you’re having a bad day at work or are nervous about a job interview, imagining your romantic partner may help.

According to a new University of Arizona study, thinking of your other half during a stressful event may help to keep your blood pressure under control just as effectively as actually having your significant other in the room with you.

Putting love to the test

Researchers found this by asking 102 participants to complete a stressful task – submerging one foot in icy cold water.

Participants’ blood pressure, heart rate and heart rate variability was measured before, during and after the task.

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The participants either had their significant other sitting in the room with them, were instructed to think about their romantic partner as a source of support or to think about their day during the stressful task.

Those who had their partner physically present in the room or who thought about their partner had a lower blood pressure response to stress than participants who thought about their day.

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Health benefits of high-quality romantic relationships

These findings may help explain, in part, why high-quality romantic relationships are consistently associated with positive health outcomes in the scientific literature, said lead researcher, UA psychology doctoral student Kyle Bourassa.

“This suggests that one way that being in a romantic relationship might support people’s health is through allowing people to better cope with stress and lower levels of cardiovascular reactivity to stress across the day,” Bourassa said. “And it appears that thinking of your partner as a source of support can be just as powerful as actually having them present.”

“Life is full of stress, and one critical way that we can manage this stress is through our relationships – either with our partner directly or by calling on a mental image of that person,” Bourassa said.

So, the next time you feel stressed at work, in an exam or even during a medical procedure, try picturing the love of your life.

Source: University of Arizona via

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