Everyone loves the feeling of being in love. But what does love do to us? To answer that question, I’ve done some research!
First of all, the feeling of love is caused by chemicals in our bodies. Dopamine, vasopressin and cortisol flow in large quantities through our brain, making us feel that “high, fluttery feeling” when we’re around the person of our desire. So, technically, love is a drug! Or maybe better said, love itself is an influencer of bodily (hormonal) drug activity! (Thought Catalog: 19 Scientifically Proven Ways “Love” Affects Our Bodies Like A Drug.)
You may say, wait! Cortisol? I thought that was a stress hormone! Well, it is. But…cortisol is also responsible for many good things in body function as well such as controlling blood sugar levels, regulating metabolism and reducing inflammation. It assists with memory and helps fetuses grown in women during pregnancy. (That is, if you’re still in the lovey dovey phase! (Hormone Health Network: What Does Cortisol Do?)
Many times people say they feel different when they get involved with a new lover/relationship. And in a way they’re onto something. The hormones present in your body when you’re in love create feelings similar to those of people with manic depression. It is almost as if you could conquer the world. As if life is different, vibrant and new. (Thought Catalog: 19 Scientifically Proven Ways “Love” Affects Our Bodies Like A Drug.)
For these reasons, love is a good thing. But, if we get dumped or break up with our lover, the opposite can happen. When we are rejected, pain centers in our brain light up when we look at a picture of our ex. We also can experience having a broken heart ( a real condition called stress induced cardiomyopathy) which has the very extreme and rare possibility of killing its victim. (Thought Catalog: 19 Scientifically Proven Ways “Love” Affects Our Bodies Like A Drug.)
“Broken heart syndrome” can strike even if you’re healthy. Luckily, though, it isn’t common. The symptoms of stress induced cardiomyopathy are almost identical to those of a heart attack. It is unknown how many people actually die from this condition but there are eleven documented cases in which Johnny Cash was one of them. (Thought Catalog: 11 Documented Cases Of People Actually Dying Of A Broken Heart).
Love can heal and it can hurt. It is my opinion that we are better for having loved because it expands us and enlightens us in our daily existence of being human. Though the pain can be pronounced, the positive effects are worth the extra effort!