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What happens in a loving brain?

What happens in a loving brain?

Falling in love is not just about romance or feelings. For your brain, this phenomenon involves chemistry and hormones. How's it going ? Is being in love good for your health? On the occasion of Valentine's Day, focus on this feeling that makes our hearts beat.

First of all, what is love?

This is a vast question that is both ethical, philosophical... but also scientific! If love is this attraction, this surge of the heart for a person, it is also a matter of chemistry. Love mobilizes a certain number of neuronal areas, or promotes communication between them. The feeling of love requires, in addition to the object of your affection, a veritable cocktail of hormones that acts on your emotions.

Love:a chemical cocktail beneficial to health

Who says love says cocktail of hormones in action. Many of them are secreted when you feel attracted to someone:

  • Serotonin

This neurotransmitter that acts like a hormone and regulates moods or emotions. Have you been happy since you fell in love? You owe it to serotonin.

  • Dopamine

A hormone that controls motivation and desire. It also plays a role in addictions and sexual pleasure.

  • Oxytocin

This hormone that acts in social interactions plays a role in the feeling of attachment and empathy that we can have for someone.

  • Endorphins

These neurotransmitters, similar to morphine and produced by the body, cause a euphoric effect, even painkiller.

Love at first sight:what is it?

The famous "love at first sight" can also be explained by chemical reactions, studied by neuroscientists. We know in particular that pheromones, chemical substances that we produce, help to seduce the coveted being. But that's not all:during a lightning strike, our brain releases adrenaline, and sends signals to the body which materialize in an acceleration of the heart rate, sudden sweating, but also a reddening of the skin.

Being in love can have effects on overall physical health, as many of these hormones work for the well-being of the body. With the secretion of serotonin generated by love, you find quality sleep.

Love, as well as dopamine and endorphins, also influences our mental state:we are motivated and full of energy. The empathy felt, the tenderness and the attention given and received help to lower the stress level and soothe the person in love. Not to mention that sexual intercourse is also beneficial to our health. Considered as a physical activity, they contribute both to good cardiovascular functioning and to fight against insomnia.

Single or in a couple:how does everyone experience love?

You are in love

Being in love provides a certain well-being (thank you hormones!). But did you know that love mobilizes certain areas of the brain (the cerebral cortex, the central gray nuclei), and deactivates others? This is the case of the prefrontal cortex, which is used for rational decision-making, or the cerebral amygdala, which is involved in our feelings of negative emotions or judgment.

Asleep, these areas foster what is sometimes seen as mad or blind love for a person. We then act less rationally, because this mechanism sometimes prevents us from realizing the faults of the loved one, due to our impaired judgment.

You are in a difficult relationship

Like addictive drugs, love activates an area of ​​the brain:the one that governs the reward circuit. It is this same circuit that is activated when we sleep or eat.

If there is a lack of love or the relationship with the loved one weakens, this circuit is disturbed, which can lead to a lack, physical and psychological discomfort. This dysfunction also occurs when too much is expected of the other or of the relationship, which can lead to addictive behavior.

Likewise, if you do not maintain your romantic relationship, if you allow yourself to be drawn into a routine mechanics or a boring daily life, it is possible that the reward circuit is deactivated. Don't panic:the machine can get going again by focusing more on your partner and allowing yourself special moments together like a romantic meal at home.

You are single

You don't have a partner? You are not deprived of the effects of the cocktail of "love hormones", however. Singleness should not be perceived as a failure or cause a feeling of depression. Know that it is possible to trigger love hormones without being in a romantic relationship. Helping others can promote feelings of empathy or tenderness. Listening to friends, getting involved in a charitable cause can also boost your hormones and trigger the reward circuitry. Ready to commit? Sites like Tous Bénévoles or France Bénévolat will help you find an association to work for near you.

Feelings of loneliness:talk about it with a professional!

With Covid and the lack of social interaction it brings, the loneliness of celibacy can be difficult to live with. Know that if you feel isolated, have a loss of appetite or motivation, it is possible to approach a health professional to discuss your feelings and benefit from psychological support.

Why does love go away?

The cocktail of hormones triggered by love at first sight or a romantic encounter does not last forever. Some studies would tend to affirm that amorous passion would last three years. After this time, the production of certain hormones (dopamine and serotonin in particular) tends to decrease. This is what can cause a certain drop in desire within the couple.

The secret of couples that last

However, senior couples have managed to live together for decades. This type of romantic relationship that lasts, it makes you dream. Although there is no winning formula for ensuring the longevity of a couple, we can promote a good relationship over the long term:

  • Understanding and communication:avoid remaining angry, confide in your disagreements or misunderstandings and favor dialogue over heated arguments. Likewise, knowing how to forgive others is essential in order to move forward without resentment or guilt.
  • The acceptance of the other:do not try to change a person you love to your advantage. It is important to respect one's differences and seek to be in agreement with the other rather than in criticism or judgment.
  • Have fun and be there for each other! Laughter and trust are two essential elements for a lasting couple. Having someone to lean on, but also to share moments of happiness and laughter, reassures and unites a couple.

Apps for couples

Have you found love? Here are some very useful apps:Happy Couple:quizzes to always learn about your partner.Couplete:you create photo albums of your most beautiful moments, have your own messaging service and list the activities you want to do together.

If it is lived well, the feeling of love can be a source of joy and fulfillment and even good health. Similarly, not being in love should not be seen as a hindrance to happiness, insofar as the hormones mobilized in love can also be mobilized by showing empathy around oneself.

Source: anatomy-and-exams/2519980-dopamine-hormone-definition-fonction-sport-drogues/–1f331c0e-193e-48df-8e46-df473db86090,coup-de-foudre-science-ou-sentiments,833811.asp,1138588.asp