The heart of the matter is that the heart that matters. A healthy heart is a happy heart. To achieve optimal heart health, your emotional and spiritual heart is just as important as your physical heart, and care must be given to all aspects of this vital organ.
Every thought causes an instant flow of emotions by neuropeptides and hormones that compose a symphony of positive and negative effects within the body. That is why it is so important to pay close attention to the thoughts and emotions that are running through your mind, as they dictate the symphony of neurotransmitters playing in your body.
Love helps heal the heart and nourish your mind, body, and soul. Love is a strong emotion, representing human kindness, compassion, and deep affection. Love is pure. Love is self-directed and directed toward others. Most importantly, love is a vital component for your overall health and happiness.
How Does Love Benefit Your Health?
Improves Self-Esteem: Love helps boost self-esteem, which leads to better self-care and happiness. Self-love is important because when you love yourself, you are much more likely to engage in activities that contribute to better nutrition and physical fitness, and less likely to make unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Makes You Happy: Love makes you happy. Love causes the production of norepinephrine and dopamine (both hormones associated with adrenaline), which leads to increased feelings of joy and pleasure.
Reduces Stress: Love counteracts the fight-or-flight response and helps reduce stress. Even low levels of stress cause the body to release cortisol, which is associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and depression. Love can help lower the production of cortisol hormone. In fact, love encourages your body to produce oxytocin, the “feel-good” or “love” hormone. Oxytocin can reduce overall stress and improve the immune system, which in turn decreases cell death and inflammation.
Keeps Depression Away: Love decreases anxiety and staves off depression, which then reduces the risks and signs of heart disease. Dr. Dean Ornish’s book Love and Survival: Eight Pathways to Intimacy and Health describes one study where where married men who suffered from angina (chest pains) experienced far less angina if they felt loved by their wives, even despite high risk factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Better Immunity: Love improves your immune system, decreases inflammation, and can be a powerful pain reliever.
Relaxation: Love allows you feel well-connected with the body which can help increased release of cytokines, better relaxation and the release of endorphins.
Better Sleep: Love helps you sleep better. Sleeping next to someone you love makes you feel more relaxed, which helps you to sleep better. Adequate rest is vital to heart health and overall well-being, as much of the reparative work of the body is done during sleep.
It is important to remind yourself every day that there is so much more to love than just romantic love. There is love of life, love of nature, love of animals, love of others, and love of self, and all of these acts of love provide amazing health benefits.
How Can You Incorporate Love into Your Life?
Be Kind And Generous: Be more loving and giving. Bring happiness and joy into your life and other people’s lives. Be generous with your time and money. Try to do one random act of kindness today, even if it is as simple as smiling at someone.
Hug More: Hug and hold hands. Physical contact has a loving and nurturing ability to instantly improve your mood, reduce levels of stress and put you at ease. Try to hug at least one person you love every day.
Make Love: Be more playful in your loving relationship and make love often. Remind your partner about how much you care for them, and make time for them, no matter how busy you are.
Be Grateful: Love your life and be grateful. Bring more joy into your life each day. Flirt with life… laugh, dance, sing. Allow yourself to really laugh without holding anything back and simply enjoy this pure laughter.
Love Yourself: Love yourself and be kind to yourself every day. Treat yourself like you would another person who you are truly in love with. The more you love yourself, the better prepared you will be to love others. And the more love you give, the more you will receive.
In honor of Valentine and Heart month, Dr. Cynthia is offering a free download of her best selling book, Your Vibrant Heart.