Have you lost the appetite for kissing in your relationship?Are
you the type that just “air kiss” than “actually kissing” type when
greeting your friends? Do you shy away when you see your aunt coming in
for a big kiss at family events? It may be time to pucker up!
Turns out that kissing — even when it’s your family and friends — has
countless number of mental and physical benefits that make getting your
smooch on totally worth it. Here’s what the science says.
1. It boosts your ‘happy hormones’
Kissing triggers your brain to release a cocktail of chemicals that
leave you feeling oh so good by igniting the pleasure centers of the
These chemicals include oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, which can
make you feel euphoric and encourage feelings of affection and bonding.
It also lowers your cortisol (stress hormone) levels. 2. Which helps you bond with the other person
Oxytocin is a chemical linked to pair bonding. The rush of oxytocin
released when you kiss causes feelings of affection and attachment.
Kissing your partner can improve relationship satisfaction and may be
extremely important when you are in a long-term relationships. 3. And has a tangible impact on your self-esteem
In addition to boosting your happy hormones, kissing can reduce your
cortisol levels — potentially improving your feelings of self-worth.
Researchers in one 2016 study found that participants who were unhappy
with their physical appearance had higher cortisol levels.
Although more research is needed, experiencing a temporary drop in cortisol each time you kiss isn’t a bad way to pass the time.
4. It also relieves stress
Speaking of cortisol, kissing also lowers cortisol levels and stress.
Kissing and other affectionate communication, like hugging and saying “I
love you,” impacts the physiological processes related to stress
5. And reduces anxiety
Stress management includes how well you handle stress and anxiety.
There’s nothing quite like a kiss and some affection to help calm you.
Oxytocin decreases anxiety and increases relaxation and wellness.
6. It dilates your blood vessels, which helps reduce your blood pressure
Kissing increases your heart rate in a way that dilates your blood
vessels, according to Andrea Demirjian, author of the book, “Kissing:
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About One of Life’s Sweetest
When your blood vessels dilate, your blood flow increases and causes an
immediate decrease in your blood pressure. So this means that kissing is
good for the heart, literally and metaphorically!
7. This can also help relieve cramps
The effect of dilated blood vessels and increased blood flow can help
relieve cramps — a boost in feel-good chemicals and relief from period
cramps? Getting your smooch on when you’re in the throes of a bad period
might just be worth it.
8. And soothe headaches
Kiss the “not tonight dear, I have a headache” excuse goodbye. That
dilation of blood vessels and lowered blood pressure can also relieve
headaches. Kissing may also help you prevent headaches by lowering
stress, which is a known headache trigger.
9. It can boost your immune system
Swapping spit can boost your immunity by exposing you to new germs that
strengthen your immune system. One 2014 study found that couples that
kiss frequently share the same microbiota in their saliva and on their
10. And reduce allergic response
Kissing has been shown to provide significant relief from hives and
other signs of allergic reaction associated with pollen and household
dust mites. Stress also worsens allergic reactions, so kissing’s effect
on stress may also reduce allergic response that way.
11. It’s tied to improvements in total cholesterol
One 2009 study found that couples who increased the frequency of
romantic kissing experienced improvement in their total serum
cholesterol. Keeping your cholesterol in check lowers your risk of
several diseases, including heart disease and stroke.
12. It even helps prevent cavities by increasing saliva production
Kissing stimulates your salivary glands, which increases saliva
production. Saliva lubricates your mouth, aids in swallowing, and helps
keep food debris from sticking to your teeth, which can help prevent
tooth decay and cavities. 13. It’s a solid barometer for physical compatibility with a romantic partner
Turns out the 1964 classic “The Shoop Shoop Song” was right — it’s in
his kiss! One 2013 study found that kissing may help you assess the
suitability of a potential partner. According to women surveyed, a first
kiss can basically make it or break it when it comes to her attraction.
14. And kissing a romantic partner boosts your ces drive
Romantic kissing leads to sexual arousal and is often the driving force
behind a woman’s decision to have cex with someone. Saliva also contains
testosterone — a cex hormone that plays a role in sexual arousal. The
longer and more passionately you kiss, the more testosterone gets
15. The more you kiss, the more you tighten and tone your facial muscles
The act of kissing can involve anywhere from 2 to 34 facial muscles.
Kissing often and using these muscles on the regular acts like a workout
for your face — and neck if you’re really into it!
This may help firm up your facial muscles. Working out your facial
muscles can also increase collagen production, which contributes to
firmer, younger-looking skin.
16. It even burns calories
Using those facial muscles also burns calories. You can burn anywhere
from 2 to 26 calories per minute depending on how passionately you kiss.
This may not be the best workout regime if you’re trying to lose
weight, but it sure beats sweating on the elliptical trainer!
Kissing, regardless of whom you’re kissing, can have a positive impact on your emotional and physical wellbeing.
Kissing makes both parties feel good about themselves and can help
strengthen relationships of all kinds, so kiss and kiss often. It’s good