“One word frees us from all the weight and pain of life; this word is Love.” Sophocles.
Five years ago, my aunt passed away! She was my second mum, my role model and my guidance in life. Losing her was such a shock. It wasn’t easy at all to get used to not finding her around anymore. I spent days and nights crying and trying to pull myself together. The only thing that managed to rescue me from despair and agony was “Love”! Yes, I might had lost her love, but the love of my family and my partner did really save the day, or let’s say, saved me!
The Healing Power of Love!
We all need to love and be loved! It’s essential for our survival. Love is the deepest, most profound experience and the ultimate source of fulfillment in our lives. There is nothing more satisfying and affirming than the act of loving and being loved in return. Love is vital for our physical, mental and spiritual well-being! It’s definitely the ultimate source of healing.
Let’s begin with the most precious love on earth. The one you experienced when you came to life; opening your little eyes and seeing that tender face of your mother. She introduced you to the most genuine sort of love; the unconditional one! In every single touch, in every word she uttered, in everything she did; you got to feel this pure, sincere affection. It was your life’s first lesson and you’d keep practicing all along the journey.
Love is more than just a feeling. It is a whole body experience and it has a physiological effect on the body. Have you ever noticed how much better you feel physically and how your mood improves when you receive forms of affection from the people you love, or when you have expressed your love to someone or participated in an act of love?
I can’t forget the day I got terribly sick and had to be hospitalized for weeks. I never felt so much vulnerable, disappointed and helpless in my life. The things that I used to do, suddenly became beyond my powers. The people I used to see every day were out of my reach and the taste of life had completely become as bitter as the medicine I took. And again the cure was pure love! The care I received from my friends and family was tremendous. You’d never realize the amount of love in the hearts of your beloved ones until you truly see it inside them through hard times and tough experiences.
The Different Senses of Love
You must’ve noticed the power of a hug and the magic of a kiss? Studies encourage us to hug, kiss and hold hands. Physical contact in a loving and nurturing way has the ability to instantly improve mood, lower stress levels and put one at ease. Try to hug at least one person you love every day. I remember that day when I was quarreling with my little girl and suddenly she jumped over my lap and hugged me. Her touch was tender and passionate enough to make me forget what it was all about!
Research shows that a proper and sincere hug, where hearts are so close together is essential to build trust and a sense of safety. Hugs release tension and take away pain simultaneously. When in love, all your senses become hyper sensitive. Everything around you seem more beautiful and more colorful. Flowers smell nicer and faces seem prettier. Love makes your life sweeter than ever before!
The Protection of Love
Love actually improves our level of health. It boosts the immune system and the feel-good neurotransmitters in our brain that control our mood, outlook on life and feelings of well-being. I have witnessed this truth in my own life over and over again. First when I met my partner, then when I became a mom. When you find your other perfect half, your soul mate and the love of your life; you see life from a totally different view. That’s what I exactly experienced and what I want to share with you. I was fortunate enough to experience a profound, soul-touching relationship with my partner. Day after day life used to offer something new, something happy, something that is a reflection of pure love. Life looked different in all aspects. His love managed to change me. Yes, love has the power to change! I feel stronger with him next to me, secured with his heart devoted to me and very much pretty as I see my reflection in his eyes. As falling in love makes you feel happier and more alive, you’ll pay more attention to the beautiful things around you and you’ll literally feel like you are walking on the clouds.
In his book ‘Love and Survival: Eight Pathways to Intimacy and Health’, Dean Ornish describes one study where married men who were suffering from angina (chest pains) experienced far less pains when they felt love from their wives; even despite high-risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Love decreases inflammation, improves immune system, and can be a potent pain reliever. A recent study from the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State University, College of Medicine showed that people who are lonely develop more reactivation of latent viruses than those who are well-connected. Possible mechanisms of loving actions include increased release of cytokines, better relaxation and the release of endorphins. I guess this’s the scientific explanation of how I was cured with love.
Love is a great antidote to stress. Love counteracts the fight-or-flight response that we so often find ourselves victims to. Even low levels of stress cause the body to release cortisol, which is associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and depression. Love down-regulates the production of cortisol. Love encourages your body to produce oxytocin, the “feel-good” or “love” hormone. Oxytocin can reduce cardiovascular stress and improve the immune system, which in turn decreases cell death and inflammation. Love also causes the production of norepinephrine and dopamine in your brain (both hormones associated with adrenaline) which leads to increased feelings of joy and pleasure. Where would you find a better medicine?
Love improves your self-esteem. Self-love is the key because when you love yourself, you are much more likely to engage in activities that contribute to better nutrition and physical fitness, and less likely to make unhealthy life choices. That leads us to another very important side of love that we should never neglect nor forget. It’s Self-Love! You have to be kind to yourself, pamper yourself and take care of yourself; as if you’re in love with yourself. The more you experience self-love, the better you get at loving others. And the more love you give, the more love you’ll receive!
“Love is the cure, for your pain will keep giving birth to more pain until your eyes constantly exhale love as effortlessly as your body yields its scent.”~ Rumi
By Amal Hejazi
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