Apart from psychological factors like enhancing your mood and strengthening your bond, kissing also improves health — both mental and physical.
Kissing is one of the most primal ways of expressing our affection for others. From a peck on the cheek of adorable babies with chubby faces, our friends, our pets, siblings, parents, or on the lips in case of our partners, the act demonstrates our desire for a close connection or a seal of one. It is one of the earliest evolutionary mechanisms for social bonding too. The act that involves a collision of lips is not just responsible for a sudden adrenaline rush or those butterflies you feel in the stomach, but also one to keep you and your partner healthy.
Several studies on the topic have suggested that apart from psychological factors like enhancing your mood and strengthening your bond, kissing also improves health — both mental and physical.
A 2013 study on Examining the Possible Functions of Kissing in Romantic Relationships says: “Romantic kissing may be utilized in human sexual relationships to evaluate aspects of a potential mate’s suitability, to mediate feelings of attachment between pair-bonded individuals, or to facilitate arousal and initiate sexual relations.”
“Kissing serves a useful mate-assessment function, generally seen as more important in long-term relationship contexts (but particularly so by women), and kissing frequency was found to be related to relationship satisfaction.”
Here are a few health benefits that prove why you should kiss more often:
It boosts your ‘happy hormones’
Kissing triggers your brain to release chemicals such as oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, which make you feel euphoric, encourage feelings of affection and bonding and ignite the pleasure centre of the brain. It also lowers your cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
Kissing could be the best distraction you can get as it takes your mind off dozens of problems and stress-inducing issues. As the levels of oxytocin rise, you feel calmer and more relaxed. According to a 2013 study, oxytocin is particularly important in helping men bond with a partner and stay monogamous. Women, on the other hand, experience a flood of oxytocin during childbirth and breastfeeding, strengthening the mother-child bond.
Reduce allergic response
Kissing may provide significant relief from hives and other allergic reactions associated with pollen and household dust mites. Stress is also known to worsen allergic reactions, so kissing’s effect on stress may help to reduce allergic responses.
If you thought that rigorous gymming and running could get you to burn some calories, here’s something you might actually like! You can burn anywhere from 2 to 26 calories per minute depending on how passionate your kiss is. It may not be directly linked with weight loss but it will definitely keep you calm and low on stress, in turn helping you stay happy.
Tones facial muscles
This is a natural facelift of sorts. Kissing can stimulate over 30 facial muscles and regular kissing is a workout for your face and neck. Working out your facial muscles can also up collagen production, contributing to firmer, younger-looking skin. The blood circulation helps with a healthy glow too!
Bid tooth decay goodbye
Kissing can aid dental hygiene as it stimulates the salivary glands, which helps increases saliva production. Saliva keeps the mouth lubricated, aids in swallowing food and also helps food debris from sticking to your teeth, in turn protecting against tooth decay and cavities.
The extra saliva washes bacteria off your teeth, helping to break down oral plaque, says Mathew Messina, DDS, a private practice dentist in Fairview Park, Ohio, and consumer advisor for the American Dental Association. “Still, I would not go around advocating kissing after meals instead of brushing,” he adds.
Kissing a romantic partner boosts your libido
Romantic kissing leads to sexual arousal and is often considered the driving force behind a woman’s decision to have sexual intercourse with someone. Saliva also contains testosterone — a sex hormone that plays a key role in sexual arousal.
Anthropologist Helen Fisher describes kissing as a “mate assessment tool.”
According to Fisher, “the kiss plays a role in each of the three phases of our evolved reproductive strategy: first, the kiss helps inspire and direct the libido, which causes us to desire sex with multiple partners. Later, the kiss works to stoke the fires of romantic love, the deep infatuation that motivates us to choose one of many partners. Finally, the kiss helps us sustain and reinforce the ongoing attachment bonds, which allow us to endure together long enough to raise our children (our gene carriers) into sexual maturity.”
Kissing makes both partners feel good about themselves and can help strengthen their bond. So kiss more, and kiss often because it’s good for you.