The internet is full of marriage tips about how to stay healthy and active as a couple, but what about taking care of your mental health?
The World Health Organization reports that one in four people are affected by mental disorder. These disorders may include depression, OCD, anxiety or panic attacks, eating disorders, PTSD, bipolar, schizophrenia, and suicidal feelings.
These are not easy things for anyone to deal with, especially not in a romantic relationship. The good news is, studies show that a happy marriage can actually have a positive effect on your mental health. That’s why taking up a marriage course together can be highly conducive to relationship happiness and overall mental well-being.
With the positive movement of having good mental health now in view, couples may be wondering what role marriage can play in having a healthy state of mind.
We're looking at five ways being married can improve your overall well-being.
1. A Boost in Overall Happiness
One study, which highlighted the importance of couples making time for one another, found that couples who experienced greater happiness and meaning in their lives were less anxious and stressed when spending time together.
This includes both when spending quality time together, such as on a date night, and also joint engagement in daily activities such as washing the dishes.
Couples need a 3:1 happiness ratio in order to succeed in marriage. The same is true for reaping the benefits of marriage on your mental health. Some great marriage tips on how to get the most out of your marriage include:
- Having a regular date night. Not only will this boost intimacy and lower your chance of getting a divorce, but couples who went out once a month or more reported higher levels of romantic love and better sex life!
- Communication is essential. Couples must be able to know how to talk to each other in order to have a happy marriage. Communication will help prevent misunderstandings and resentment from forming. Talking is also a great way to get to know your partner's thoughts, ideas, and opinions.
2. Improves Sleep
While certain things may trigger a bad night's sleep when you share your bed (such as tossing and turning or a snoring spouse), getting up close and cuddling for 10 minutes before drifting off to sleep has been shown to release a chemical in your body that relieves pain and helps you get a deeper sleep.
One reason for this is because touching someone you love released the hormone called oxytocin.
While oxytocin is often related to sexual intimacy, this hormone is also released during other physical acts of intimacy such as holding hands, cuddling, or kissing. Not only are these acts strongly related to overall marital satisfaction, but they have also been proven to lower stress, increase trust, and make couples more likely to stay faithful to one another.
3. Social Support
A spouse easily provides someone to talk to, a shoulder to cry on, support, love, affection, and comfort.
Loving couples know that they can go to their spouse with any topic under the sun. Whether they are experiencing troubles at work, stress in their extended family life, or are nervous about trying a new endeavor they know their spouse will be there for them.
This support contributes to good mental health.
In fact, there is so much social support in a relationship, the studies show a supportive spouse may play an intricate role in helping their partner recover from surgery. A University of Rochester study suggests that happily wedded patients who underwent invasive surgery were more likely to be alive after fifteen years than their single counterparts.
The study goes on to reveal that marital happiness is needed in order for couples to enjoy the health benefits and that the payoff is much greater for women than it is for men.
4. Wards off Depression
Research indicates that married men are less likely to develop a severe mental illness than single men. This is often attributed to the lowered risk of depression commonly associated with a happy marriage.
5. Reduces Stress
A report published by the University of Chicago found that long-term relationships can actually alter your hormones and decrease stress.
The study revealed that men with romantic partners experienced a drop in testosterone, making them less headstrong to deal with. Another interesting facet of the study is that cortisol, the hormone responsible for controlling stress responses, were lowered in both men and women.
Meaningless stress and anxiety for couples in love!
One of the best marriage tips for couples looking to boost their mental health is to look for ways to de-stress together. Take a calming walk, schedule a couple's massage, or take a bubble bath together.
This is sure to promote peace in the house whole boosting marital satisfaction.
You Have to Be Married to Reap the Rewards
One big marriage tip in reaping the benefits of your mental health? You have to put a ring on it.
The book “The Ring Makes All the Difference: The Hidden Consequences of Cohabitation and the Strong Benefits of Marriage,” by author Glenn T. Stanton, found that cohabitation doesn't make the cut when it comes to the benefits listed above.
In fact, cohabitating couples often have worse financial satisfaction and mental health than their married counterparts. Any marriage course would guide you on improving marriage finances and learning healthy finance habits that you can practice as a couple for a stress free marriage.