Every few months, I browse through my favorite blogs and uncover those amazing stories of a mother lifting a crashed car off her trapped child or father. This phenomenon, known as “hysterical strength,” is impossible to scientifically research because it’s difficult to replicate those conditions for a study. Nonetheless, we know it’s real.
Well, it turns out you don’t just have to be worried about a loved one’s safety to harness this superhuman strength. People who are in love have experienced this phenomenon, as well. According to clinical sexologist and licensed marriage and family therapist Dr. Kat Van Kirk, people who are in love have, as well. “The oxytocin released in your system when you fall in love can actually increase your tolerance for physical pain,” Dr. Kirk explained.
The superpower benefits for lovebirds don’t end there. The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology published a study that showed that married people were less likely than their single peers to have, or die from, a heart attack. Wow. WOW. That’s one heck of a benefit of marriage— far more useful than the tax benefit my father keeps telling me about!
Lead researcher Dr. Aino Lammintausta explained,
Well, now I can’t stop humming Huey Lewis and the News’ The Power of Love. What? They were right! Just look at the evidence!
Seriously, this science shouting the benefits of of marriage is blowing our minds. For example, a Journal of Health and Social Behavior study proved that married people’s post-surgery survival rate is three times higher than that of single people. (Great. My single brother has a routine doctor’s appointment later this week and now I am terrified for him.)
Meanwhile, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago found that those in a committed relationship reported a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol. (I, for one, have found myself less stressed since being in a relationship—even when my S.O. forgets to do the dishes.) This finding bolsters an already large body of evidence showing how a healthy romantic partnership can insulate us from stress. But for most of us, this is not surprising information. After all, emotional support can only aid psychological health. People act more stable when they feel someone is looking out for their interests and cares about their welfare.
When I am near my loved one, I feel invincible. I just didn’t know that might actually be the case!