A new study has finally proven why married couples actually are much happier than those who are single, divorced, or windowed.
Several studies have been done in the past showing that there was a correlation between being married and happiness levels when compared to how happy single, divorced, and widowed people were. However, what sets this study apart from the others is that researchers have finally pinpointed why, and it has to do with stress hormones.
The study showed that married couples tend to have to deal with less psychological stress than those who are single, divorced, or married, and according to TIME, "provide[s] the first biological evidence to explain how committed partnerships can directly impact health."
Researchers took saliva samples from 572 people aged 21 to 55 throughout several points throughout the day, for three days in a row. The researchers found that the married adults had lower cortisol levels than those who were either never married, or has been married before but were not currently.
Cortisol is a hormone released when we are stressed out, and helps to control blood sugar levels, metabolism, and other functions in the body. However, when cortisol levels get too high, it can cause a weakened immune system, high blood sugar, carb cravings, and low sex drive.
The study was published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, and while there is definitely still some more research that needs to be done, a co-author of the study, Sheldon Cohen, PhD, said: "These data provide important insight into the way in which our intimate social relationships can get under the skin to influence our health.”
Aspects of the study that might influence results include that the pool of applicants were generally all healthy and young. This means that to understand the full spectrum of the effect of being married on individual health, scientists would need to study older adults who might have health problems as well.
But for now, let's raise a glass to the married peeps. They've got it good.
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