Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Researchers find an easy way to lower blood pressure: Think of a loved one

Looking for a quick way to lower your blood pressure? Researchers suggest you close your eyes, and think of someone you love.

A new study in the journal Psychophysiology found that when people in committed relationships were put in a potentially uncomfortable situation, when they thought about their partner, their blood pressure didn't spike the way it did with people who were told to think about how they spent their day.

Researchers studied 120 undergraduate students, showing them videos of adorable animals for one minute in order to drop their blood pressure and heart rate. They were then split into three groups: All of them had to put their feet in ice water for four minutes, but in group one, their partners were present; in group two, they were told to think about their partner; and in group three, they were told to reflect on their day. Researchers found that the blood pressure of participants in the first two groups didn't spike as high as the people who were told to think about their day, Psychology Today reports. The participants whose partners were in the room also said they were in less physical pain from the cold water.