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3 signs you're in a mature relationship that is improving your physical health

When you're in the wrong relationship, it can negatively impact your mental wellbeing and even your physical health.

Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

Unsurprisingly, when you're in a healthy relationship with a secure, emotionally mature partner, your overall health improves, too. Studies show that a happy relationship can help you live longer, from boosting your immune system to even dulling pain.

When you're in a good relationship, you feel hopeful about the future, Suzanne Degges-White, a licensed counselor and professor at Northern Illinois University, told Business Insider. She said this hopefulness and excitement can translate to physical and emotional benefits as well.

Degges-White shared a few telltale signs that your romantic relationship not only feels good, but is good for you.

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When trying to figure out if a relationship is good for you, Degges-White said a great barometer is your level of stress.

"When we're with someone we don't want to be around, our body's tense and we may not notice it until we're out of their company," she said. "The opposite is true for someone you feel good around. When we think about the people we care about, we feel a sense of expansion and warmth in our bodies."

In fact, a partner who's healthy for you doesn't even have to be in the room for you to feel calmer.

"If you think about someone smiling at you right now, your lips may be going up into that automatic reflex smile," she said. "Because when people smile at us, we smile. If thinking of your loved one smiling makes you grin," she said, "that's a solid sign that you genuinely feel connected and safe with them."

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Degges-White said that when you're in a bad relationship, your body can feel lethargic — like you don't have the energy to move.

"But when you're in a healthy relationship, you feel capable. You feel like you can take on the world because you feel like there's a lightness," she explained.

Laughing and talking to people you love are known energy boosters, so if you're in a relationship that feels stable and fun, you're likely to feel more ready to take on the day.

An interesting side-effect of a healthy relationship is that it can encourage you to prioritise your health in other areas, according to Degges-White.

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"Because a healthy relationship makes us more energetic and optimistic, it makes adopting incremental healthy habits a little easier. When our relationships are going well, the rest of our life will usually follow. We're thinking about the choices we're making, with exercise, with diet," she said

It doesnt necessarily mean you have to run a marathon or be a super athlete as proof of a healthy bond. But you might be more willing to take a walk or bike ride if a partner you love wants to go together.

It's more that sense of being ready and capable and able to do these things and to want to do these things, she said.

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