4 Ways Being Single Could Actually Make You Healthier
We live in a culture where most people aren’t very good at being alone. Largely driven by social media and a fear of missing out, we feel as if we have to be among people all the time.
For many guys and gals alike, this creates an incessant desire to be in a romantic relationship all the time. Did you know there’s actually evidence to suggest, however, that it’s healthier to be single?
Four Possible Health Benefits of Being Single
You might regard the notion of being single sad, depressing, and lonely, but this could be just a popular misconception. In reality, single status affords you many potential advantages and opportunities that aren’t available to when you’re tethered to another individual.
From a health perspective, research has suggested a few possible health benefits, such as:
1. Less Stress
Anyone who has ever been in a bad relationship knows how stressful that can make one’s life. But it’s not just toxic partnerships that put pressure on us. Any relationship, good or bad, adds some level of stress.
According to a study conducted by Debt.com, single people are less likely to carry credit-card debt, so they feel financially free. Since debt can put you at a greater risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke, this might give the nod to single people in terms of health.
A separate study suggests that single people also spend less time on household chores such as laundry, washing dishes, and cleaning up after others. This frees up more hours to choose relaxing or enjoyable activities, such as watching TV or pursuing a hobby.
2. More Sleep
A survey by Amerisleep found a direct connection between relationship status and hours slept per night. Married people get an average of 6.71 hours of sleep per night. Engaged people enjoy a slightly higher average of 6.97 hours of sleep.
Individuals in a relationship report 7.07 hours of sleep. But who comes in first place? Single people boast about 7.13 hours of sleep per night.
The differences may sound insignificant, but the average single person gets roughly 25 minutes of additional sleep per night compared to married people. That’s nearly three additional hours of sleep over the course of a week, or 156 hours of extra rest in a one-year period.
3. More Exercise
A study of 13,000 Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 found that those who have never been married get more exercise than people in any of the other relationship categories (including divorced, separated, married, and widowed). The pattern holds true regardless of age, gender, or geographical locale.
The reasonable conclusion is that single people have fewer familial obligations and more time to dedicate to self-care. Since exercise has a positive correlation to weight loss, high energy levels, positive mood, enhanced cardiovascular functioning, and greater sexual performance, this makes a strong case for better physical health.
4. Stronger Social Connections
Though a healthy romantic relationship – whether inside or outside the contract of marriage – is arguably the deepest intimate connection you’ll ever have, research suggests that single people enjoy a greater quantity and quality of social connections than those of us who attach ourselves to one other individual.
Research that appeared in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that single people have a greater tendency to keep in touch with and provide help to friends, parents, and siblings than married or divorced people do. In both men and women, the study indicates that being single increases social connectivity (across virtually every age and race).
Learn to Love Yourself
There’s something wonderful about being in a relationship with a significant other, especially when it started with a spark of attraction and romance. But there’s also plenty to be said for being single.
Learning to love yourself and practice self-care confers numerous physical and emotional benefits. Perhaps you don’t want to be single forever, but use the time you have to maximize these benefits and live your life to the fullest. You won’t regret it!