Wellness & Nature

Love Life

The mystery of attraction, love and feelings, health and sex life…

by Deepak Chopra M.D.

Love longer, live longer

If you and your sweetie vow “until death do us part,” you may, in fact, be hedging your bets. A recent study by researchers at Duke University suggests that married couples live longer and adapt better to illness or disease than single folks. This study focused on the effects of not having a spouse, or permanent partner, during midlife. The researchers found that people who had been in a stable marriage throughout their adult life had a greatly reduced risk of premature death.

Take heart

The heart of the matter might well be the heart. Earlier research has shown that men who were never married were three times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than married men. Researchers think this is due, in part, to the care men in relationships get from their partner – from eating better, to getting more exercise, to seeing the doctor more often, to having more robust social connections – which can all lead to better health. It’s not surprising that both men and women who are in a supportive relationship who do develop heart disease have better survival outcomes than their single counterparts.

A cure for what ails you

The link between a good marriage and a healthy heart seems logical when you look at factors such as improved diet, better healthcare, and reduced stress, depression, and isolation. The reasons a loving relationship can protect you from the effects other illness and disease, such as cancer, are also becoming clearer. So far, even though it does not appear that marriage reduces your chance of getting cancer, for those who do get cancer, a loving partnership can improve your chance of survival for a number of reasons. Because a spouse is more likely to encourage a partner to go to the doctor, married individuals are more likely to seek care earlier and are less likely to have advanced disease at the time of diagnosis than unmarried people. In the same vein, married patients are more likely to receive treatment than unmarried patients. And among people who do receive cancer therapy, marriage is linked to increased survival.

Love is all you need

It’s not simply a marriage license that confers health benefits. A loving, supportive, and respectful partnership is at the bottom of living a long, happy life with your sweetheart. Clearly, a toxic relationship will wreak toxic havoc on your health, so if you’re happily single, you’re better off staying that way than rushing headlong into a poisonous pairing. If you are married, but it’s more war than roses, you owe it to yourself and your health to take steps towards healing and balance.

In his book Free to love free to heal, Chopra Center co-founder Dr. David Simon described seven universal laws for creating enlightened, loving relationships. Here is a summary of the seven laws:

  1. My relationships are based on equality.
  2. My relationships are mirrors of myself.
  3. My relationships have room for change.
  4. In my relationships, I let the past be past.
  5. In my relationships, I choose being happy over being right.
  6. I nurture my relationships with attention, affection, and time.
  7. In my relationships, I am prepared to communicate my expectations and negotiate with love and clarity.


About the Author

Deepak Chopra, M.D is the author of more than 65 books, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His medical training is in internal medicine and endocrinology, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and an adjunct professor of Executive Programs at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is also a Distinguished Executive Scholar at Columbia Business School, Columbia University, and a Senior Scientist at the Gallup organization. For more than a decade, he has participated as a lecturer at the Update in Internal Medicine, an annual event sponsored by Harvard Medical School’s Department of Continuing Education and the Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Deepak Chopra, M.D. and David Simon, M.D. opened the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in 1996 to help people experience physical healing, emotional freedom, and higher states of consciousness.

“Deepak Chopra has successfully blended ancient Vedanta Philosophy with his unique perspective on modern medicine to provide a vast audience with solutions that meet many needs for our modern age. He is among the influential scholars, authors, and thinkers like Arthur Schopenhauer, Carl Jung, and Aldous Huxley who have found truth in the Perennial Philosophy and developed ways to help people apply that truth to their daily lives.”

~Huston Smith


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