Here’s the thing about love: It’s a magic potion. Even after 19 years, I still get that flutter in my stomach, the racing heartbeat, and flushed cheeks, when my husband picks me up at the airport. And even though I know there’s a chemical explanation for what is happening, it’s still a small miracle that it occurs!
So for Valentine’s Day this year, instead of just buying your special someone a gift, consider the miraculous benefits of some good old-fashioned demonstrations of affection.
- “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” ~ Mother Teresa
- Smiling relieves pain.
- It costs nothing to smile at someone and more often than not that smile will be returned.
- When we smile we release endorphins. Endorphins reduce symptoms of physicalemotional pain and give us a feeling of well being.
- Even if you don’t feel happy when you begin to smile, the more often you smile, the happier you will feel!
2. Write a love letter
- Writing a love letter can lower cholesterol.
- No, really: the Human Communication Research found that expressing your feeling of affection by writing a letter can lower cholesterol, which is beneficial for the ultimate symbol of Valentine’s Day: the heart!
3. Give a hug
- Hugging reduces stress.
- Research by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School shows touch lowers output of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. When cortisol levels are lowered, there’s a surge of serotonin which reduces anxiety, making you feel happier and more content. No wonder you can’t help but smile when you are getting a great hug!
4. Give a smooch
- Kissing = an act against aging.
- Kissing can give your face a lift and save your life. When you kiss the one you love, you use more than 30 facial muscles. Exercising these muscle helps to keep them smooth and tight and could even prevent your cheeks from sagging. Kissing also releases oxytocin which promotes calmness and well being. Talk about heath benefits! A study from University College London even found that men who kiss their wives goodbye were less likely to get into a car accident on the way to work.
I know it’s chemicals that make make my heart race at the sight of my husband. They increase the rate of circulation so my lips and cheeks look flushed. Some of the chemicals make me perspire so my skin looks dewy. Many of these chemicals make me feel good and may make me live longer. But even though I technically know all this, it’s not the chemicals I see when I look in his eyes, it’s magic.
Here’s to a magical Valentine’s Day!