Mahatma Gandhi once wrote “where there is love, there is life”.
You might be sick to the back teeth of Valentine’s Day. Perhaps you were held up getting petrol this morning as there were people frantically queuing to buy flowers, or maybe the supermarket has put a premium on your favourite wine or chocolates, you might just think that it’s all a bit ridiculous. But whatever your thoughts are on the celebration of Valentine’s Day, what matters is the love in our lives.
As scientists have understood more about the biology and chemistry of our emotions, they have drawn some conclusions about love. It has been widely agreed that love and stable relationships can help to improve a person’s ability to manage stress and can decrease anxiety and depression.
Positive social experiences and higher levels of social integration and support are associated with lower ‘allostatic load’, which is a fancy psychiatric term for the physiological consequences of prolonged stress.
At WorkLife by OpenMoney, we talk a lot about our social wellbeing. Social wellbeing comes from feeling included and experiencing a sense of belonging within social groups. Healthy relationships and regular social contact with colleagues, friends and family can contribute to stronger social wellbeing and improved overall health.
The truth is, the pillar of social wellbeing is often overlooked in favour of the big two, physical and mental wellbeing. But at WorkLife by OpenMoney, we believe that social wellbeing is absolutely crucial in ensuring that our overall health is in the best shape that it can be. Social wellbeing has a huge effect on the other pillars, particularly mental wellbeing, and if you are still unconvinced, there is plenty of psychological research to back this up.
So this Valentine’s Day, we’re not saying that you need to deliver a gift to your secret lover, cook a five course meal or spend £50 on roses. Just think about all the loves in your life, no matter how big or small. Share the love, strengthen your connections and improve your wellbeing.