Listening to the Sunday news pundits, angry hateful words from some of the presidential candidates, and watching recent breaking news has caused me to look at what might make a difference to us individually and as a nation. There is one thing. That thing is love. The power of it is amazing.

For starters, half of people who exercise alone quit their programs after one year. However two-thirds of those who work out with a loved one stick to it. In addition, men and women alike workout 12 to 15 percent harder when they are with a romantic partner.

After a heart attack, men and women who are married recover more quickly and have a lower mortality rate than those individuals who are single. Those in committed, healthy relationships experience less stress, and men are more likely to give up risky behaviors when they get married.

Happily married and/or committed people have fewer doctor visits, less depression, substance abuse, and less anxiety. They have lower blood pressure. Those who are unhappily married have the highest. An added benefit to marriage is that in a study done by the Centers for Disease Control of over 127,000 adults, married people were less likely to complain of headaches and back pain. Those in a happy marriage heal more quickly, have fewer colds and are able to manage stress better.

The benefits of a loving, committed relationship are innumerable. If we love, we are happier and if we are happier, there will be less anger and hate. Life isn’t always easy, but love makes it better. Promoting loving and healthy relationships will help us all to thrive and survive. So, that brings me to what can make the world a better place, back to a simple, one-word answer, love.

“Where there is love there is life.” Mahatma Gandhi