Everybody knows that love makes us feel good, but did you know that there’s an actual science behind it?
Love is a natural pain relief
We all know that embraces feel good and comforting. Yet, recent studies have shown that the oxytocin (chemical in brain which creates feeling of calm and closeness) released during a 10-20 seconds hug can effectively fight pain, specifically headaches.
What’s more, just looking at a photograph of your loved one increases your endurance threshold and reduces pain (to 40% in moderate cases, and 15% in severe). Our brain associates the image of our partner to a pleasant distraction which makes any kind of pain more bearable, thus acting as an analgesic.
From a different perspective, scientists have also proven that sexual stimulation and especially orgasms also do a great job at blocking pain. This is especially effective for chronic back pain, arthritis symptoms, and cramps.
Love takes care of your heart
Studies show that expressions of love lower your heart rate into half. This is even more effective in stressful situations and reduces the risk of heart conditions in the long run.
Besides, oxytocin — known as the love hormone and believed to be one of the most amazing molecules in the world — diminishes stress, lowers the blood pressure, reduces regular and social anxiety, boosts self-esteem, and helps us avoid and fight depression.
Love helps your body fight illness
Love related gestures, from holding hands to sexual activity, increase the production of endorphins which in turn, enhance our immune system.
Similarly, people with physical conditions who feel loved have a much better response to treatment and a stronger motivation to fight illnesses.
Love treats insomnia
Love hormones (oxytocin and endorphins) inhibit the release of cortisol, which is the hormone responsible for stress and it turn, they naturally promote better rest. Also, the «hormonal reconfiguration» of love making is scientifically proven to be one of the most efficient treatments for a good night’s sleep.
Love diminishes addiction probability and reduces withdrawal symptoms
Opiates, cocaine, nicotine, alcohol are so addictive because they affect the dopamine levels in our bodies. Dopamine is the hormone responsible for a sudden rush of pleasure and euphoric effects.
Infatuation works the same way. Yet, besides dopamine, it also enhances the release of testosterone and oxytocin, which makes up the best combination for avoiding and fighting addiction.
In other words, being in love fills your life with the pleasure and ecstasy you need. But at the same time, feeling loved when fighting addiction, literally helps you cope with the withdrawal symptoms and reduces your cravings.
Love promotes longevity
Surveys show that people in meaningful relationships, especially in marriage, feel healthier and benefit from a sound lifestyle (including food choices, regular meals, better rest, less stress etc.).
Being in a couple also helps people prevent and makes them prone to address physical conditions faster. This has basically proven that people that are in love and in a committed relationship tend to live longer.
Love is therapy
People resort to therapy for many reasons, but most of the time it’s because they want to be listened to and understood. Out of all the specialists in the world, the person most able and available to offer you an efficient all-around «therapy» is the partner you cherish.
Your lovers support and affection are both mentally and physiologically the main (and sometimes even the only) «medicine» you need to deal with your phobias, depression, social anxieties and finally, your physical condition.
Love and meaningful relationships don’t just happen to us. We choose to love, to improve our relationships, to behave differently, and finally, we choose to be happy and stay healthy.
The great psychologist Robert Sternberg says that «Without expression even the greatest of loves can die». With that in mind, open your heart and show your love, because that’s the most efficient way to get more of it.