2 Science-Backed Facts You Should Know About Healthy Relationships

1. Socializing & “The Love Gene”

Humans are social creatures by nature. Not only does social engagement have positive effects on your health and longevity, but prolonged isolation has been shown to be a greater health hazard than obesity and as strong of a risk factor for early mortality as smoking nearly 15 cigarettes a day. It works right down to the ever-changing genetic level.

When researchers looked at the DNA samples of more than 120 volunteers, they found that when OXT genes (the ones responsible for the “love hormone” oxytocin) were damaged, participants had a harder time recognizing emotional facial expressions, which can impede your ability to form healthy relationships and be more empathetic. Participants were also more likely to be more anxious in their relationships with loved ones.

Related: How Much Do You Really Know About Healthy Relationships?

2. Don’t Go to Bed Angry

Not only does getting a good night’s sleep lower inflammation, but data shows that it also protects against stress-related inflammation triggered by fighting with your partner.

A recent study found that couples who slept less had a greater inflammatory response to conflict the next day and higher levels of pro-inflammatory proteins after discussing a marital problem, compared to couples who got at least seven hours of shut-eye. For every hour of sleep they lost, their levels of inflammatory markers increased a whopping 6 percent—a number that rose to 10 percent per hour if they argued in an unhealthy way.

Even more reason to never go to bed angry. It ages you!

Related: The Secret to a Happy, Thriving Marriage: Communication


Adapted from The 6 Keys © 2018 by Jillian Michaels with Myatt Murphy. Used with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York. All rights reserved.
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2018 issue of SUCCESS magazine.


Leave a Comment