Pucker Up! Your Brain & Body on Kissing
The verdict is in: Kissing is good for your brain and your body.
For the most part, we know there are a variety of sex benefits. It strengthens your relationship. It surprisingly boosts your immunity. And bonus: it even counts as exercise.
But what about the stuff that happens around or before sex, like kissing?
Well, next time you pucker up and with mono fears aside, you can rest assured that you’re actually putting your health first (we’re serious).
So, what exactly does kissing do to your brain and body? We rounded the facts up. Let’s dive in!
1. Kissing - like sex - boosts your immunity.
Ohhhh, baby! Similar to sex benefits, kissing helps you ward off the flu and other ailments - despite the exchange of saliva going on and assuming your partner doesn’t have anything serious they can pass on.
And it’s not just speculation. A study published in 2014 found that partners who kiss frequently have stronger immune systems. This is kind of where it gets weird, but stick with me. Kissing exposes you to new germs. Consequently, it boosts your immunity. So when you’re swapping spit, you’re also swapping microbiota. Kind of cool, right?
2. Kissing reduces anxiety and stress.
Stressed out about that next big work presentation? Makeout time!
Get this: kissing lowers cortisol levels. Boom. Stress management achieved.
Plus, affection causes the release of oxytocin, which reduces anxiety and increases feelings of relaxation.
Interestingly, this also impacts your self-esteem. A reduction in cortisol levels is associated with greater confidence. Go in for that smooch, let that anxiety melt away, and watch your confidence levels soar!
3. It makes you happy.
Oxytocin. Dopamine. Serotonin.
These are the natural love drugs and the cocktail mix that your brain fires off, making you feel good. The pleasure centers of your brain light up. It makes you happier.
4. The release of oxytocin brings you closer to the person you’re kissing.
Oxytocin isn’t just about feeling happy and decreasing stress levels. Oh no. It’s so much more. This little chemical is associated with bonding. It makes you feel closer to the other person. And you can blame it for feelings of attachment. It’s important, especially in long-term relationships.
5. Kissing dilates your blood vessels
Which helps in a variety of situations.
First, it reduces your cardiovascular health risk by reducing your blood pressure. When your blood vessels dilate, your blood has more room to flow. Thus, there is less pressure on the blood vessel walls which could lead to an array of cardiovascular and circulatory problems.
Second, it may help relieve headaches. How? By reducing blood pressure and decreasing stress. Headaches be gone!
Third, it might help alleviate menstrual cramps. That time of the month isn’t fun as it is. Throw cramps in the mix and it’s pretty miserable. But kissing may help. Since it dilates your blood vessels, it may help more blood flow reach the muscles and areas of the body that need it which may decrease cramping.
6. Suffer from allergies? Kissing helps!
Kissing does this in a couple of ways. Again, it reduces stress. When you’re stressed, your body is more susceptible to an allergic reaction or at least a more harsh reaction than normal.
On top of that, studies show that it may reduce hives caused by an allergic reaction. Pretty interesting stuff!
7. It helps you determine your compatibility with a potential mate.
Huh? Okay, this one baffled me a bit at first too. There is the nature argument where scientists suggest that within kissing, we have innate mechanisms that assess and analyze reproductive status, genetic compatibility, and overall general health.
Then… There’s the psychological argument. In fact, some women say that the first kiss makes or breaks their interest in a potential partner. In other words, if the kiss isn’t good, it might be a reason for someone to continue on the hunt for a potential partner.
8. Kissing works out your facial muscles.
You workout to tone your abs and your legs, so why not kiss to work out your face (I’m half-kidding here)?
Okay, so maybe it’s not a reason to kiss per se. But it’s another benefit of kissing.
Kissing actually uses 2-34 facial muscles. Consequently, it tones and tightens the face. In addition, it stimulates collagen production, making your facial skin look toned, firm, and young. No anti-aging creams needed!
9. Kissing burns calories!
A kissing session lasting about one minute burns 2-26 calories. It depends on how passionate those kisses are and it doesn’t exactly equate to a good run or strength training workout - but every little bit counts!
Kiss to Feel Good (Literally!)
Kissing has an array of benefits. Pucker up and put your health first. Reap those positive mind and body effects. It may even bring you and your partner that much closer together, and you’ll both feel good about it.
The bad? If your partner is sick, kissing them is almost a sure-fire way to get yourself sick. Maybe avoid kissing your partner if they’ve come down with the cold or flu. Sure, it might boost your immunity - but you will likely go through a bit of misery to get there.
Other than that, go for it! It really is beneficial to your body and your mind.
Related Article: 5 Reasons Why Your Long-Term Relationships Needs Some Long-Distance