Love is the drug!

20.02.2015

Love is the drug

Love actually does do something to our brain and hormones. Scientists have found that love affects the brain in a similar way to cocaine addiction!

You may have noticed that you get butterflies in your tummy, your heart rate increases, you get sweaty palms and your skin flushes among other physiological reactions when you see your loved one or someone you fancy. This is the result of a rush of chemicals flooding around your body. You feel eutrophic, which is similar to an endorphin-induced runners- high.

Give us a s kiss!

Your cortisone levels go up when you fall in love; this is a stress response hormone which helps us to keep calm. This love business can be very stressful! Kissing is reported to reduce cortisone levels so pucker up and have a smooch! (Make sure you know them first!) Bit of trivia for you… our pupils dilate when we kiss which is probably why we close our eyes.

You put the phone down; no you put the phone down…

Dopamine levels increase in the blood stream which gives us that thrill when we see our loved one, over time the levels decrease, but this doesn’t mean the end of the road for this love story. The molecule CRF (corticotrophin-releasing factor) helps couple stay together. CRF is released when they are separated; it creates an unpleasant feeling which results in them missing each other. Awwww! (Hence the long phone calls!)

Keeping it real

In men a molecule called vasopressin is increased which is linked to territorial behaviour. In a healthy relationship men feel loyal and protective but in unhealthy relationships this can lead to possessiveness. Vasopressin is linked to fidelity. When this molecule has been blocked in animal research it results in mass infidelity!

You also release the hormone oytytocin which is known as the’ Love hormone’. This is what is thought to be what helps to keep us in love long after the honeymoon period has passed.

Obsessed!

You think about this person from the moment you wake up until you go to sleep, even then you’ll probably dream about them! Your loved one seems to permanently occupy a part of your brain. How can your brain be taking so much time to think about them when there are so many other important things to think about?! This is a subconscious and automatic response, we are literally obsessed!

Weight loss/ gain

Your appetite may go down which results in weight loss but once we get past the honeymoon stage it may result in weight gain as we become more content.

You go all gooey!

You smile more. You see this all the time, someone gets a text or phone call from their loved one and they get a silly smile on their face, it’s not their normal smile that they use day to day, it’s a smile that can only be produced by being in love, I’d describe it as a ‘sickly/dopey smile’! Link this smile with the nick name of ‘fluffykins’ or Baby Bear (???)  and to anyone else it’s  two fingers down the back of the throat ,  but to the loved-up they are unaware of the throwing up going on around them and carry on gushing!

Cringe!

You do embarrassing things; you’d do almost anything to make your loved one happy no matter what people think.  For example, public proposals. Anyone who was not awash with love induced chemicals would not think of doing a potentially life ruining act, what if they say no? Oh, the humiliation, the embarrassment! But, in their chemically induced world this isn’t an option, of course they’ll say yes. Let’s just hope that the recipient of the proposal has the same level of chemicals floating around as they do!

It gets you fit!

Couples who exercise together are 50% more likely to continue to exercise after 1 year compared to single people. Men and women who are in a relationship   train at a higher intensity, is this the excitement of being together or having competition?!

You live longer

A 2004 study of the benefits of marriage or long lasting relationships found that the mortality rates are lower than that of singletons. People tend to experience less stress if they are in a committed, healthy relationship. Stress can lead to heart disease, stroke and  high blood pressure.

Stops spots!

The healthy glow of love does exist! Keeping stress levels healthy has a positive effect on clear spot free skin!

Of course a bad relationship can have the opposite effect of all of the good points mentioned above but I don’t want to pop Cupid’s bubble, it has just been Valentine’s day after all.

Some of you may have to dig deep into the memory bank  to remember these feelings or some of you may be experiencing all of the above right now. So to all you Fluffykins and Baby Bears out there, good on ya! But, if you have to snog each other’s faces off in public, please get a room…

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