Thinking of Your Lover May Help Control Blood Pressure, Says StudyHealth & Wellness

January 24, 2019 11:11
Thinking of Your Lover May Help Control Blood Pressure, Says Study

(Image source from: Todaynews)

Do you see your blood pressure fluctuating in daily stressful situations? In that case, having a romantic partner - physically or even present in your mind - can help you keep your blood pressure down, as suggested by researchers.

Thinking about your romantic partner may help keep blood pressure in control just as effective as actually having your significant other in the room with you, according to a study by University of Arizona psychologists, published in the journal Psychophysiology.

"This suggests that one way 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," said psychology doctoral student Kyle Bourassa.

"It appears that thinking of your partner as a source of support can be just as powerful as actually having them present," Bourassa added.

The total of 102 participants, who were in committed romantic relationships, were asked to complete a stressful task which comprises submerging one foot into three inches of cold water ranging from 38 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

The participant’s blood pressure, heart rate, heart rate variability was measured by researchers before, during and after the task.

During the task, the participants either had their significant other seated in silence in the room with them throughout the task or they were instructed to think about their romantic partner as a source of support. In the third set, the participants were instructed to think about their day during the task.

The effect on blood pressure responsiveness was just as powerful whether the partner was physically present or simply conjured mentally.

"The findings may help explain, in part, why high-quality romantic relationships are consistently associated with positive health outcomes in the scientific literature," said Bourassa. If replicated, the findings could have implications for those facing everyday stressful situations, the researchers added.

-Sowmya Sangam

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