What is love? Baby don’t hurt me…
Okay, that was an easy joke but it’s a real question, what is love really and how does it affect us?
Most of us have felt the racing heart and sweaty palms that come with it but did you know, that romance can impact us in so many different ways?
Though it may feel illogical, more like destiny at play or something cheesy like that, there’s actually a lot of science being those butterflies.
Here are just five facts about the thing that inspires Taylor Swift the most.
It’s both a conscious and unconscious choice
Hopelessly in love, a hopeless romantic, phrases we’ve all come across but there might actually be some logic to these sayings.
Though it may feel like you just can’t get your significant other off your mind, like it’s not something you decide there’s more to it.
It is also a choice that you must make every day. Outside stressors, relationship squabbles, and conflicting priorities can cause even the most loving couples to grow apart.
No matter how stressed or angry you are, it is important to consciously choose love and to respond in ways that support your relationship.
It can improve your health
We know love can improve your mental health and general sense of well-being but it goes deeper.
Research has shown that those who experience intense loneliness and disconnectedness are at a much higher risk for an early demise. Those who are deeply emotionally attached to someone tend to feel fitter and live longer.
Love is actually “catching”
Another old saying that has some truth to it!
Those who regularly exhibit the fundamental traits of love, such as compassion, empathy, and genuine caring tend to inspire others to do the same.
Modelling it is a gift that you can give to the world!
The brain has different reactions to love and lust
While most of us can feel the difference between the two, there’s more science and chemistry at play.
Lust activates the brain regions associated with rewards such as pleasure, and love activates the regions that deal with the most basic rewards, like getting water when you’re thirsty.
Over time, passion can lead to love, but it is a mistake to confuse these very different responses.
You can learn how to love
Love demands trust, openness, and vulnerability, sometimes it just doesn’t come naturally but that doesn’t mean you can’t love.
It is a higher-order function that requires the brain’s prefrontal cortex to send the amygdala signals that are powerful enough to overcome the automatic fight or flight response.
Those who have experienced trauma or abuse often have an overdeveloped fight-or-flight reaction that is extremely difficult to break through.
Over time, a patient partner can often teach someone struggling with this to experience love, especially if a professional therapist is involved.
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