Bright Side

Science Says Marriage Can Save You From Stress (Yep, It’s Not What We’re Used to Hearing)

The idea that married couples have less stress in their lives seems a bit phony. But luckily, there is an opinion we all can trust. According to science, getting hitched might actually lower our cortisol levels. So, if you haven’t found the best stress reliever yet, this option is one to think about.

Today, Bright Side is going to explore if we can add one more advantage to marriage.

Marriage isn’t what we see in beautiful poems about love.

Some of those who already have rings on their fingers may probably remember all the fights or difficulties they had to go through with their partner. And if they try to think about how many of them lie ahead, their stress level may increase instantaneously. That’s why it may seem a bit weird to claim that life after a wedding is less tense.

But we can admit that there’s an ocean of warm memories and expectations too. And it seems that these things win in the end.

It seems it’s easier to cope with anything if you aren’t alone.

A group of researchers assumed that between married, single, and divorced or widowed people, the first group is better protected against stress. To test this idea, the researchers gathered saliva samples of 572 adults from ages 21 to 55 years old. They discovered that married people had the lowest level of cortisol, which is known to be the stress hormone. This can mean that, despite all the jokes made by married people about how hard their life is, they actually have to deal with less stress in comparison to single people.

The researchers noted that the highest level of cortisol was among those who were married and who had to deal with the divorce or death of their partner.

Moreover, the level of cortisol changes during the day. Typically, it reaches its highest point at the time a person wakes up and keeps declining throughout the day. The research also compared cortisol rhythms in participants and discovered that married people showed a faster decline in comparison to other groups.

Remembering balance

It goes without saying that stress doesn’t bring on anything good. Some sources link high cortisol levels and uneven cortisol rhythms with heart decease and even cancer. So it’s good to know that marriage can be of great help with this issue.

But it’s also important to keep in mind that this conclusion is not a remedy for all situations. There’s no point in marrying the first person you meet or in trying to save relationships that don’t have a future in order to have less stress. These attempts are more likely to bring more harm than good.

In your opinion, who looks less stressed: married folks or single people? Can you confirm that the results of this study are true by personal example?

Preview photo credit Twin Peaks / ABC