Health Tips

Kiss Away Stress and Anxiety: How the Simple Act of Kissing Can Improve Your Mental Health

Kissing is the most beautiful way to express our affection for others. We kiss to demonstrate our feelings and desire for closeness. Kissing has been scientifically proven to be healthy and scientifically beneficial in relieving stress. Lip kissing your partner, or even kissing the cheek of your siblings, friends, and family members have loads of mental and physical benefits. 

Science explains that while you kiss, the good feeling dilates the blood vessels, which helps to reduce blood pressure.  Kissing increases the heart rate in a way that dilates the blood vessels. When our blood vessels get dilated, the blood flow increases and causes an immediate decrease in blood pressure. This means that kissing is good for the heart. 

Kissing activates the brain’s system that releases neurotransmitters like oxytocin, the love hormone, and vasopressin, which creates bonding between mothers with their babies and romantic partners to each other. It also releases endogenous opioids, dopamine, and other helpful neurohormones to keep our moods happy.

The chemical oxytocin is released when a couple is locked in kissing each other. The rush of oxytocin is released when you kiss and it leads to a feeling of affection and bonding. Kissing your partner not only improves bonding and the relationship but also leads to a stress-free life. 

How kissing relieves stress

Studies have shown that kissing boosts our happy hormones and reduces our cortisol levels. This improves our feelings of self-worth. In a 2016 study, researchers found that participants, who were not happy with themselves and their physical appearance, had higher cortisol levels. As our body perceives stress, our adrenal glands make and release cortisol into the bloodstream. These are called stress hormone that increases our heart rate and blood pressure. 

Kissing triggers the brain to release some chemicals that leave us feeling so good, which further ignites the pleasure centers of the brain. These chemicals include oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, which make us feel euphoric and encourage feelings of affection and bonding. These chemicals lower our stress hormone levels as well.

Several studies have shown that kissing lowers cortisol levels and hence relieves stress. Kissing and other affectionate communication such as hugging and saying I love you, have an impact on the physiological processes related to stress management.

Stress management also includes how well we can handle stress and anxiety. And it has been proved that there’s nothing like a kiss and some affection to help calm you down. The chemical oxytocin decreases anxiety and increases relaxation and wellness.

A 2005 study found that love and kissing have the potential to reduce stress and promote health since they can heal or facilitate beneficial motivation and behaviour. In other words, by reducing our stress hormones, our body can better focus on relieving stress and healing the physiological processes that are exacerbated by stress. 

A 2009 study on affection exchange theory also suggested that physical exchanges of affection like kissing, “buffer the individual against the physiological effects of stress.”  The researchers found that kissing, the expression of affection was directly related to lowering stress by lowering the stress hormones. 

Other health benefits of kissing

Kissing heals cramps and headaches

Kissing can instantly cure a headache or menstrual cramps. This happens when kissing causes dilation of the blood vessel. 

Kissing fights cavities

A kiss causes all the fluids flowing including your saliva. When you are kissing, you are secreting more saliva in your mouth, and this mechanism washes away the plaque on your teeth that leads to cavities. 

Kissing burns calories 

Kissing and lovemaking can be taken as an exercise that burns some calories. 

Kissing boosts self-esteem

One German study found that couples who kiss before leaving for work become more productive. This is because he/she leaves home happy, hence his/her productivity at work increases. 

Kissing increases longevity and livelihood

This German study also found that kissing your partner in the morning before going off to work amazingly improves your life. The participants who kissed their partners before going to work were said to have lived five years longer than those who didn’t. 

Kissing works on facial muscles 

According to the American Journal of Medicine, kissing takes two muscles in the face to create the exchange. However, a passionate kiss can activate up to 24 facial muscles and 112 postural muscles. That’s a kind of benefit you can get from face yoga.

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