Table of Contents
Relationships and Feelings
Love leads to biological changes that
have been observed in scientific research.
Being in love can
reduce stress, relieve pain, and make you happier.
Here are seven
ways your body and brain change when you fall in love.
you ever looked at your partner lovingly and felt your heart
flutter, palms sweat, or mood instantly get better?
because falling in love actually changes what happens in your body —
for the better. When in love, neurochemicals like dopamine and
oxytocin flood our brains in areas associated with pleasure and
rewards, producing physical and psychological responses like less
perceived pain, an addictive dependence, and a stronger desire for
sex with your partner.
Cuddling, hugging, and kissing the one
you love can instantly reduce stress and increase feelings of calm,
trust, and security thanks to oxytocin, while your mood improves as
a result of your reward center flooding with dopamine.
are seven ways your body and brain change when you fall in love.
Being in love can lower your blood pressure.
couples have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. didesign021/Shutterstock
Elevated blood pressure, or hypertension, is a dangerous
condition that puts your body at increased risk for heart attack,
stroke, and kidney failure. Medication and lifestyle changes like
getting exercise and eating healthier can control or reduce
hypertension, but research has also suggested that being in love can
serve as a a natural way to reduce blood-pressure levels.
2007 study published by the US Department of Health Services looked
at the relationship between marriage, physical health, and
longevity, and found that married couples have lower blood pressure
and a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease.
In a an
analysis of cardiovascular disease risk, the American College of
Cardiology looked at 3.5 million participants who were single,
divorced, or widowed. They found that married couples under 50 years
old tended to have a 12% lower risk of vascular disease. Married
people between the ages of 51 and 60 had a 7% lower risk for disease
than their unmarried counterparts.
You may feel more or less
stressed than usual, depending on the stage of your relationship.
Falling for someone may be stressful in the
beginning — there's uncertainty about whether they feel the same
way, the possibility of rejection, and anxiety about when to say
those three big words.
The initial stages of falling in love
increase levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, in
new couples, according to a small study published in 2004. However,
when the participants were tested 12 to 24 months later, their
cortisol levels had returned to normal.
Though love can be
stressful for some — especially in the early stages — it can
potentially lower stress in the long run. A study published in 2005
in Neuroendocrinology Letters examined the neurobiology of those in
love and found an association between people's stress response
systems, known as the HPA axis activation, and the development of
social attachment. The results suggest that forming a bond with your
partner could help bring about physiological changes that reduce
levels of anxiety.
You feel more attached and safe.
Hugging and kissing makes you feels calm and secure. Olesya Kuprina/Shutterstock
One reason why you feel less stressed may be because being in
love makes you feel safe and develop trust towards your loved one.
Oxytocin, a hormone released through physical contact like
hugging, kissing, and sex, deepens feelings of attachment towards
your partner and produces sensations of contentment, calmness, and
security, according to a Harvard Medical School report.
Oxytocin also plays a role in social bonding, maternal instinct and
reproduction, and sexual pleasure. The “love hormone” substantially
increases social attachment and trust among partners, according to a
study published in Nature.
You get “butterflies” in your stomach.
Your brain activates the vagus nerve, which is connected
from the brain to your gut. Motortion Films/Shutterstock
you ever felt your heartbeat speed up, palms sweat, or stomach churn
(in a good way) at the sight or thought of someone you love?
When in love, cortisol levels increase and the body goes into
“Your limbic or emotional brain
activates the vagus nerve that goes from the brain to your gut,” Dr.
Daniel Amen, psychiatrist and neuroscientist, told NBC News. "When
you get nervous, or when you get excited (as I explain to my
patients, it's the same feeling, but it depends on your
interpretation of it) this nerve is stimulated that activates the
You become happier.
Dopamine is released,
activating the brain's pleasure center. GaudiLab/Shutterstock
Being in love releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that
controls the brain's reward and pleasure center, which makes couples
feel happy around each other.
In 2005, a study published in
The Journal of Comparative Neurology scanned 2,500 brain images of
17 individuals who self-identified as being in love. Researchers
found that participants who looked at a photo of a person they
romantically loved showed brain activity in two areas highly
associated with dopamine: the caudate nucleus and ventral tegmental
You feel less pain.
Love alters your mood and
impacts your experience of pain. didesign021/Shutterstock
Being in love has been shown to have pain-reducing qualities,
although most doctors wouldn't recommend relying solely on love
after, say, a serious surgery or injury.
A 2010 study
published in the journal PLoS ONE took fMRI scans of participants in
new romantic relationships. The researchers found that people who
viewed images of romantic partners had increased activity in several
reward-processing regions in the brain, suggesting that love (and
distraction) may reduce the experience of pain.
are in this passionate, all-consuming phase of love, there are
significant alterations in their mood that are impacting their
experience of pain," Dr. Sean Mackey, senior author of the study,
told Stanford Medicine News Center.
You can feel addicted.
Neurochemicals in the brain give you a rush similar to
addictive drugs. Viacheslav Boiko/Shutterstock
drugs that light up our pleasure centers and keep people coming back
for more, love can be addictive in its own way.
have observed overlapping neurochemical responses in the same areas
of the brain among people experiencing drug addiction and love. A
2017 study published in the journal Philosophy, Psychiatry, &
Psychology reviewed research about the relationship between
addiction and love. The authors suggested that love can be addictive
because it's a need that can be temporarily satisfied but can become
very distracting if it's not fulfilled for a long period of time.
(Official medical classification guides do not include love as an
Some of these feelings may have to do
with sex — sexual activity, orgasms, and some drugs all release
dopamine in an area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens. An
orgasm's rush of oxytocin and serotonin, along with muscular
relaxation, can leave you craving more. That's why it might feel
like engaging in sexual activity can give you a rush.
Being in love, from a logical point of view,
means becoming one with another. The
inner world is expanded as
experiences are shared. The world is seen from another viewpoint.
The self is given another psychological
dimension. Our inner reference is expanded so someone asks "How are
you doing?" and the word "we" is used instead of "I".
The feeling of loneliness includes lack
of touch, lack of importance, and a lack of purpose. We do
things for people we love. We talk to people we love and it feels
We get lonely we lose our reference. Things do not
matter as much when there is nobody in our life.
actually define our love ones. If we lose the ability to feel love,
the people we used to love seem like impostures.
Many books have been written about love and
conflicts. Overall people need people for the most part.
Hermits are the exception.
If you give people choices, you can get a long
with them better. Instead saying lets to the the show, we
should say we could stay home, go to a show or go shopping.
Living with someone allows one to share brain
activity with another, allowing off loading of some tasks, to think
Recommended books which support many
of my ideas.
Feel free to write me if you have questions or
My email address is:
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