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Science of the Heart

     Love comes straight from the heart, right? Well, romantically, yes, it's an emotion from the heart. But, really, the feelings we experience during love are directly related to the chemicals released by our brains.


Addicted To Love

A Flowering Mind     Endorphins are what makes us come back to love again and again. They're what makes love feel so good and why we long for it. Endorphins are neurotransmitters released by the brain that make us feel terrific. They are our own little rewards system and have addictive characteristics.
     Unlike caffeine, nicotine, or cocaine, these chemicals are the rewards our bodies treat us to when we are doing something good for ourselves: exercising, laughing, having sex, falling in love. And, they are the reason why exercise can bring us out of a funk, laughing can become contagious, sex can seem can be better than chocolate, and we go back to love even after our hearts are broken. The endorphin fix is hard to shake, because they are not only addictive but they make us happy, energized, feeling strong and alive.


The Hormone of Love

     Oxytocin is the foundation of romance. When oxytocin is released in the brain passion and romance builds, stress is reduced, we become relaxed, and endorphins are released. For men, increased oxytocin levels lead to feelings of love. For women, their serotonin levels are elevated and sustained.
     So, how do we get these doo-dads pumping? Touch lovingly. It's that simple: a hug, holding hands, a massage, intercourse, etc...
     When we are touched lovingly we, in turn, want to touch our partner back in a loving way, which releases oxytocin in them. And, suddenly we find ourselves amidst a non-stop, oxytocin-enduced, never-ending touch fest.

To Serve and Protect

     Serotonin is a brain chemical that brings women comfort and contentment while reducing stress and increasing optimism.
     So, how's a man bring on this magical chemical? Romance. When a woman feels romanced, her serotonin levels increase. Shower her with compliments. Shower her with flowers. Shower with her. Let her feel as though she is safe, protected, and that her needs have been, and will be, met.
     In doing so, her increased serotonin levels affect and increase her release of oxytocin, which will, of course, bring on everyone's favorite brain chemical, endorphins.


Let Go My Ego

     Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that gives men energy, clarity and motivation. Why would a woman want to increase her man's dopamine levels? When he's energized and clear, he's more easily motivated to offer love and romance.

     Next question: how does a woman increase her man's dopamine levels? Give him a challenge. Knowing that the possibility of success is at the end of a challenge directly affects dopamine levels.

     When a man first falls in love or is courting a woman, dopamine levels rise because of the challenge set before him. When he's attained his goal (i.e. established a relationship) the challenge is gone, and dopamine levels tend to drop. But, it rises again when a man feels needed and appreciated.

     So, stroke your man's ego. Let him help solve problems you're having at work, or ask if he can fix something at home. If all else fails, play hard to get in the bedroom (back to the challenge). When he feels appreciated or is faced with the challenge, he's rewarded with dopamine which increases both his testosterone and endorphin levels.


The Hormone of Desire

     When a man's testosterone levels rise his well-being increases, romance stays alive and he's at his happiest. What woman wouldn't want this man in her life?

     One way to increase a man's testosterone levels is through a romp in the proverbial haystack with him. The act of sex can lead to a more caring and compassionate partner. Dopamine levels rise, which affect testosterone levels. And, therefore, endorphins are released.

     So, the next time he's trying to entice you to meet him in the bedroom, before claiming you have a headache, consider that the end results may be a more romantic man in your life.


Sex, Chemistry and Romance

     We love sex because not only does it feel good, but because chemical reactions take place in our brains when we have it.

     Sexual intimacy increases dopamine and testosterone levels in men, as well as oxytocin in both men and women. Studies have even shown that if a man is heavy in the testosterone arena and is in the mood sexually, yet his partner is not, having sex could still benefit her sexually. How? The act of sex begats touch, which begats oxytocin, which begats the need to touch more, which begats sexual desire in women.

      And let us not forget the all-important hormone, prolactin, which is released during orgasm. This little chemical is said to promote the growth of new brain cells. So, the more sex we have could make us not only more romantic, but more intelligent. Scary concept.

     So, men, romance your partners. It will lead to balanced brain chemistry. She will be stress-fee and in the mood to reciprocate romance. Tell her, "I love you", "I care", and lend her a hand now and then.

     Women, men are most motivated to act romantically when they believe they can make a difference. They are less motivated when they believe that they are seen as a problem. So, let him help and feel successful. Reduce his stress. Intimacy will work wonders as a stress-reducer, leading to balanced brain chemistry and just three words: En-Dor-Phins.

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