I have many theories on life. One theory is that love is the only concrete human experience in this life. We have all experienced love, being in love, the lack of love and its effects on us. Love is a part of every personal relationship in our lives, from lovers to friendship building it’s the fore front of our being. Love is beneficial to our brains in so many ways. In the early years of life we depend on love. Love is the building block to our development. Everyone can get by without it right? Sure you can. Not well though. If a baby is not nurtured and loved there is a high chance for mental health issues to arise later on in life. Depression and anxiety arise out of the lack on human connection and lack of love and attachment as an infant. Special hormones are secreted by neurons in our brains when we experience love and connection as humans these chemicals help babies develop socially and emotionally without them there are often developmental delays presented in the first 2 years of life.
Skin to skin contact or kangaroo care is when a mother or father takes a naked baby and places them on their bare chest. The baby feels the beating of their parents or caregivers heart. The rise and fall of their chest, love and bonding chemicals are released by the brain neurons at this time by everyone experiencing contact. Mama has special hormones called oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone released by mothers when feeding their babies. It’s also released during skin to skin contact. When a father lays his child on his chest for kangaroo care the man secretes the hormone vasopressin. The vasopressin hormone lowers the father’s blood pressure allowing him to relax. The father also shows decreases in cortisol levels as well as his newborn baby. When the baby feels the beat of his parent or caregivers heart and the easy of their breath, the baby begins to regulate his/ her breath accordingly. The cortisol levels (stress hormone in the baby drops) and bonding between the families begins. These are the first stages and facilitators to love between families. This is how the brain chemically makes a family “fall in love” so to speak.
Romantic love is so addicting. Of course sex makes love addicting than, companionship, friendship and building a life with someone. Love gets increasingly more or less complicated when we learn about the effect that it has on our brain. Loyola University states “There are three states to love, lust, attraction and than attachment.” The initial lust stage to falling in love is a very hard chemical reaction going on in our brain. Dopamine a chemical flooding our neurons equivalent to that of cocaine is flooding our neurotransmitters creating euphoria. Our cortisol stress hormone is increased, hearts are racing and another neurotransmitter serotonin is depleted. Serotonin levels are lowered at this time creates an almost singled focused obsessed feeling for the person you are thinking about. That’s why you can’t get someone out of your head. Dopamine is also a reward seeking chemical in the brain and a motivator, so of course it really helps us follow up on the person we are interested in.
During the act the sex these happy hormones and endorphins (natural pain killers) are secreted by our neurons, Dopamine, higher levels of serotonin, oxytocin and vasopressin. Over time from having a romantic relationship with the same partner through skin to skin contact and the repeated release of oxytocin and vasopressin (bonding hormones) something special occurs there. is a development of long lasting love.
According to Harvard Neuroscience studies found these hormones are responsible for monogamous and long term relationships that have gone well beyond the lust and attraction phases of love.
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE DO WITH ME?
Love is relevant. It’s part of the very fiber of our beings. Our neurons secrete endless feel good chemicals for us in order to enjoy the endless possibilities of love. From lust, attraction, falling in love, sex and finding the right person to grow old with to finding long lasting love. If we choose to grow a family someone, we even have warm loving chemicals in place to make the best experience of love when hold our child in our arms and up to our hearts the first time.
I wrote this article for two reasons. 1. If you have a partner, husband or wife and you love them with everything you have, stop waiting for whatever it is. Don’t sleep on love. Lay them on your heart. Share some heart beats / skin to skin, get that oxytocin and vasopressin released. Create your long lasting love.
2. it’s never too late to show anyone you love them especially your children. Of course kangaroo care is out the window once they are no longer babies but you can always place them close to your heart with a warm hug. Tell them you love them. Life is short. I hope this article helped show you that even our brains are connected when we show each other love.
Thank you for reading – Namaste-
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Loyola University Health System. (2014, February 6). What falling in love does to your heart and brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2019 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140206155244.htm