Having a stressful day? Try daydreaming about your better half. A new study has found that imagining your partner could keep your blood pressure under control in stressful situations.
Researchers at the University of Arizona studied 102 participants, who were partially submerged in cold water and were then measured for their blood pressure and heart rate before, during and after the task.
They then assigned their case studies, whom are all in committed relationships, to one of three random conditions when completing the exercise. One group had their paramour sitting near them during the task, another group had to imagine their partner as a source of support while the last group had to think about their day.
The study found that participants who either had their partners present or thought about their partners had a lower blood pressure response due to the cold water than the people who thought about their day. Researchers also saw that the blood pressure reaction was just as effective whether the partner was actually present or just imagined.
Kyle Bourassa, a psychology grad student at the University of Arizona and co-author of the study, believes this could be one of the reasons past studies found that people in high-quality relationships are more likely to report positive health outcomes.