How Can Love Be Medicine?
Have you been noticing all the little hearts going up on store windows and new candy displays being set up? Love and chocolate are definitely in the air. While I’ve never been a diehard fan of Valentine’s Day, I have always been a fan of love. And I’ve become more of a fan with age, and the more I’ve realized the health ramifications of love. How love itself can be medicine.
You see, love not only makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, there are actual science-backed health benefits of feeling love.
Here are just some of them:
Love Boosts Your Overall Health
A report by the Health and Human Services Department suggests that couples who have a loving, healthy relationship tend to be healthier and have less illnesses. While the researchers haven’t pinpointed exactly what causes this phenomena, they speculate that partners in love, real love, tend to encourage each other to take care of themselves, eat right, exercise, meditate, etc.
Love Lowers Your Blood Pressure
According to a study published in the Annals of Behavioural Medicine, couples who were in a happy and loving relationship had lower blood pressure than those who were single. However, couples in an unhappy relationship tended to have higher blood pressure levels, just like their single counterparts. So the key here really is LOVE.
Love Beats Stress
Do you know why it feels so good to be in love with someone? Because when we are, our bodies release feel-good hormones that have the ability to kick our stress to the curb. In addition, these good hormones can lower the levels of bad hormones released in our bodies when we are stressed – hormones like cortisol, that can absolutely wreak havoc on our health.
Love Fights Depression and Anxiety
Those feel good hormones are also a great natural remedy against depression and anxiety. In fact, in a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, scientists took brain scans of people in love as well as those in long-term committed relationships. What they found was that being in love lit up a person’s dopamine-reward area in the brain. This is the same area that lights up when consuming addictive substances like cocaine or even winning the lottery. So being in love makes us feel REALLY good, and that can go along way if we’ve been feeling sad, depressed or anxious.
Love Promotes Healing
It has been scientifically proven that love can heal. In a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, scientists found that wounds heal faster in couples who are in a stable and loving relationship. The reverse was also found to be true. Those individuals in a hostile relationship had slower wound healing capacity.
Scientists believe this phenomenon is due to the pro-inflammatory cytokines pro-inflammatory cytokines released when a person was sad, lonely or the subject of abuse. But the presence of this compound was found to be much lower in people who were in love.
There are Different Ways to Be in Love
Though the studies I’ve cited looked at the health benefits of love in coupledom, you can reap these benefits in your life even if you are single. Because we don’t need a romantic partner to feel in love. We can feel “in love” with our friends, family, pets and even ourselves. We can, if we’re lucky, feel totally and completely in love with our life.
Use your Love as a form of medicine
So this month I want you not to focus on love so much in a romantic way, but find ways you can feel intense love every day of your life, no matter what your relationship status is.
Every day look for the things in your life that you’re grateful for.
Find ways you can show the people in your life how much you love and appreciate them.
Being in love means being in a state of love – you can be a living state of love, which is a divine expression of the creator.
Start with yourself. Find ways to love yourself more, because if you don’t truly love yourself, you can’t truly love another.
The more filled with love you are for yourself, the more love you have to give. The more you have to give, the more love you receive. And the beautiful cycle repeats itself. This is really being in a state of constant love. Watch your health and life improve when this happens!
This February, commit to becoming more loving in all that you do and see. You will be amazed at how your life and health will transform.