News & Opinion | March 30, 2019 5:00 am

Imagining Your Partner’s Face Could Be The Key To Reducing Stress

Thinking about your significant other could help you reduce stress.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The next time you’re in need of some stress reduction, picturing your partner’s face could help calm your nerves, according to a new study.

The research, which was published in the journal Psychophysiology, was conducted by a team at the University of Arizona. They found that simply imagining s spouse, significant other, or partner could be just as helpful as physically being next to them when it comes to managing our body’s response to stress.

Researchers used 102 people in an experiment that found each person dunking a foot into ice cold water for four minutes. The participants were divided into three groups- one had their significant other in the room during the test, the second was left alone but told to think of their significant other, while the third was alone and told to think about their day.

Before, during, and after the test, participants’ heart rate, blood pressure, and heart rate variability were measured.

The team found that those who had their significant other in the room maintained lower pressure than those who were told only to think about their day. The second group, which was instructed to think about their partner without them physically in the room, also had lower pressure comparable to group one.

“The research suggests that during times of stress, drawing on the mental image of your romantic partner as a psychological resource might be beneficial in terms of blood pressure responses,” Kyle Bourassa, the study’s lead researcher, told HuffPost.