Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Physiology of Love vs Hate

There are measurable physiological health benefits to Love. 

There are serious health implications for those who indulge in hate and other negative emotions, but isn't is nice to know that there is real science to back up the theory that love not only makes us feel better, but can actually act to make us healthier? I think so!

These are some of the things love can do to keep you healthy:

1.  Lower blood pressure and better heart health with lowered cholesterol levels
2.  Helps us to cope with stress and slows aging
3.  Aids in the secretion of calming, healthy brain hormones like dopamine, endorphins, DHEA and oxytocin
4.  Those that love you often encourage healthy behavior.  When you love them you are more inclined to listen to that helpful healthful encouragement.
5.  Hugging and holding hands can act to release oxytocin - the bonding hormone
6.  Being in love increases your pain tolerance
7.  Love makes us feel happy.
8.  Love and happiness helps our immune systems work more efficiently, resulting in fewer illnesses.
9.  Wounds were shown heal faster in those who are in love or happy.
10.  Strong connections to friends are as helpful healthwise as quitting smoking, and even more beneficial than exercising!
11.  If you're in love there is less chance you'll become suicidal.
12.  Love can result in fewer doctor visits, shorter hospital stays
13.  Those in love are less likely to become depressed or misuse drugs or alcohol.
14.  Those who experience long-term love such as a marriage can expect to live longer.

I gave 14 reasons to concentrate on love vs. hate because this is February and nearly Valentine's day.  However, love - and acting with love - can benefit us in nearly everything that we do.  To show love, consider going beyond the obvious hug to your spouse or child.  Think about some of the ways you can live a life of happiness and love that aren't so obvious:

1.  Volunteer
2.  Forgive someone
3.  Do something to help someone - a random act of kindness
4.  Care for an animal
5.  Write a letter to someone you care deeply about
6.  Say "Thank you" and really mean it
7.  Smile with your mouth and eyes.  Do it big and frequently
8.  Play with someone you care about
9.  Hug someone, but don't let go until they do

Okay, so I snuck #8 in on the sly :)

There is an Alzheimer's video that was recommended to me a few days ago that inspired this post for #LoveBeatsHate blogging day today.  I hope you have just a few moments to watch Naomi and Gladys.  They  changed everything I thought I knew about the physiological benefits of love:



Do you discuss the health benefits of showing a loving attitude vs. a hateful, mean, vengeful or otherwise negative attitude in your communities?   Do you think they would benefit from seeing this video or this post?

For more information about this incredible video clip as well as the rest of the PBS production and the fabulous educational series that goes with it, please see Memory Bridge - a not for profit site dedicated to the mission of building bridges between human souls. 

Here is a short url to share this post in your communities:

This is my entry for the Love Beats Hate blogging event #LoveBeatsHate.  For more information or to join the next event:

(Yahoo associated content)

Comment by Trish Robichaud on February 10, 2011 at 3:57pm
Great post Ellen!  Have ping'd it around my networks!  LOL!  Thanks for connecting on FB!
Comment by Amy K on February 12, 2011 at 12:11am
Love is definitely the way to go! This video is so beautiful, what an amazing capacity for love Naomi has! I love this post Ellen, thank you so much for sharing. We certainly all need love and it's healing properties are undeniable.
Comment by Ellen S on February 15, 2011 at 9:58pm
I just spoke with Michael Verde who works with Naomi Feil, and I am so excited to say that we will be hearing lots more from them in the near future, so STAY TUNED!

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