Love is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment, a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion and affection that manifests unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.
February is the month that manifests friendship, joy, ecstasy, forgiveness, romance and passion. It is about LOVE. Love is a vital component for the health of our heart, body, mind and soul. It is a force of nature that can be invited but not dictated to. It can be unpredictable like a storm but also radiate like the sun. It can’t be bought, sold or traded nor does it have any borders, it cares and is empathetic. Love is free and bigger than all of us, powerful in emotion, our health, happiness and can not be forced, threatened, bought or traded. Love is free and bigger than us all.
The word, love, has many interpretations but its health benefits are limitless, honest, genuine and pure. Through our emotions it is the body and the mind that respond in an authentic way to create a healthy or unhealthy environment for you and your body to live in.
Every thought and emotion triggers our bodies to create thousands of hormones and neuropeptides that influence our brain activity in that three-pound organ that fires nearly 100 billion neurons.
Thoughts and emotions, positive and negative, run through our minds, so that is why it is important to pay attention to them as they can affect the direction of the transmitters connecting our mental and physical health. Negative attitudes, chronic stress, repressed anger, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can upset our hormone balance and deplete our brain chemistry.
We can, however, choose to adjust our emotions and thought processes through practicing positive thinking and affect our emotional and physical health, such as recovering from heart disease, sleeping better, resistance to colds, feeling gratitude, experiencing serenity, playfulness and wanting to connect to others. A positive attitude literally reverses the negative physical effects.
According to the National Institute of Health, love triggers the hormone oxytocin, which gives us that magical feeling of falling in love. The Institute of Behavioral Medicine has also shown that people who are lonely, lacking love, isolated and shut off, tend to develop more latent viruses and have a 15 percent higher systolic blood pressure than those who are well connected, happily married or have close loving friendships. Married couples were found to have a longer life span than unmarried people and men half as likely to suffer from a heart attack. Both married men and women have drastically lower rates of serious diseases such as diabetes, lung and heart diseases and Alzheimer’s.
Having a regular, healthy sexual relationship also increases your lgA, the antibody that fights off illnesses and keeps the immune system strong. Now that is some powerful medicine!.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF LOVE …
- Boosts your immune system
- Decreases anxiety
- Prevents/Reduces depression
- Lowers blood pressure
- Maintains a healthy heart
- Natural pain control
- Lowers risk of diabetes
- Decreases inflammation
- Helps prevent Alzheimer’s
- Faster healing
- Fights off diseases
- Longer life
- Healthier hormones
- Beautiful skin
- Lowers alcohol abuse
- Keeps us young
- Better sleep
- And puts a big smile on your face.
INCORPORATE HEALTHY LOVE IN YOUR LIFE:
Love yourself—You are your own prize possession. Love improves your self-esteem, which helps you take care of yourself. If you look at your body as something you love and want to be with, it’s a far better mental place to be in. By having a sense of love for yourself, you will be more likely to supply your body with better food, fitness, and make healthier lifestyle choices.
Get physical—Physical contact and being physical in one’s own body improves mood, lowers your stress level and puts you in a better frame of mind. So do what makes you happy and gives you pleasure. If it’s walking the dog, yoga, running, or going for a hike moving with yourself or with someone you care about will bring health, love and happiness ( Remember those hugs)
Be generous and grateful—Be giving and generous with your time, love and energy. Volunteer, do random acts of kindness, and try to bring joy daily to the people around you and to yourself.
Love your body, love your food—Crafting a life that will love and support yourself begins with the food you put in your mouth. It is about creating health, happiness and longevity that will support you physically throughout your life. Set yourself up for success so you will feel great, have more energy and stabilize your mood. Strive for progression not perfection. You are what you eat so make it matter because you are worth it!
Feed your soul—Mindfulness, laughter and appreciation all feed our soul. It is what I like to call your “Soul Food.” It matters, just as much as real food because our holistic health is what helps us to become balanced, not only with our family and peers but ourselves.
MY VALENTINE WISH FOR YOU
Love life, love yourself, be kind, be giving, laugh, sing, enjoy, and eat those greens!
Move towards forgiveness, happiness and love. Remember that you have control so the more positive things you do and, as a result, feel the happier and healthier you. Try to love others the way you would like to be loved. Make small changes daily and you will find yourself feeling healthier, happier and better adjusted!