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Can Love Ease the Pain?

Why the greatest of wars were fought for love? Why the most beautiful works of art are dedicated to the beloved? Why are people willing to stake everything for this heady emotion? The mystery behind love is as intoxicating as the feeling itself. However, the researchers from The University of Los Angeles (UCLA) were able to find out one thing about love, and that is, it can ease the pain to a certain extent.

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The Study
25 couples, in long-term relationship, were chosen for the study. The women were subjected to bearable but unpleasant pain. Some were asked to hold the hands of their lovers, some a stranger’s hand and the rest saw the photograph of their men. Each woman was asked to describe the intensity of pain and the experience they felt at the end of the experiment.

The Findings
Surprisingly pleasant results were observed in this study.

  • Women holding their beloved’s hand experienced significantly lesser pain than the ones holding a stranger’s hand.
  • What was more amazing was that women seeing the photographs of their men also reported similar less pain.
  • Love can prove to be a powerful drug, having the same effect as Tylenol or Acetaminophen (drugs for relieving pain)
  • Our physical and mental health and support has an impact on how we handle stress and pain.
  • This also explains why it is difficult to deal with a heart break as our support system is lost.

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More facts about love
According to Helen Fisher, an anthropologist who has been experimenting on love for years, human beings are built to love.

  • When one is in love or falls in love, the part of the brain that produces dopamines (neurotransmitters responsible for giving pleasure) is activated.
  • Dopamine also creates intense energy that explains why in the initial stages of love one can ski faster, stay up whole night and even run a race.
  • Love makes you bold and take up challenges.
  • The feeling of love is somewhat like taking drugs. You may even get addicted to it.

The chemistry of falling in love
So, what really happens when one falls in love?

  • A host of hormones and chemicals are at work when you are attracted to someone.
  • The chain reaction leads to the heart pounding three times faster than the normal.
  • The blood gushes to cheeks and sexual organs.
  • The abrupt diversion of blood makes the stomach feel empty, hence the feeling of butterflies in the stomach.
  • The hands and legs get less supply of blood, leading to cold palm and feet and a slight shiver.
  • All this results in the person looking a little disoriented and nervous.

Nothing romantic about all this, we would say!!!

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The benefits of falling in love
Love is actually good for health as the chemicals secreted when one is in love:

  • Makes you happy and content.
  • Brings out the creativity in you (now you know why the greatest poets, artists and writers were great lovers too)
  • Mitigates the pain and calms the nerves.
  • Activates the brain.

Need any more reason to fall in love?

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