We have always known that when we experience love we feel better, but can we go as far as to say that love heals us? Modern science is paying close attention to the role of love in our overall wellbeing; physically, emotionally, and mentally. Miracles and healing can occur when people think, feel, and behave from the space of their hearts, or what Sarah Blondin calls being Heart Minded.
My professional career and personal life’s journey shifted in the past few years to encourage myself and others to make decisions from a loving space in our hearts. I experienced my own healing and I observed healing on others when this approach has been used. Love can have a profound effect on our mental and physical state that impacts our overall physical health. The opposite is true that a “broken heart” can have disastrous effects, disrupting our human physiology and mental and emotional wellbeing.
Love is much bigger than just an emotion that we experience as human beings, it impacts us on many different levels. Dr. Jill Carnahan, a functional medicine expert, shares that love has the power to not only heal but also has a positive impact on overall longevity. When we experience loving thoughts, we can set off a response that releases a cocktail of hormones and neurotransmitters of great benefit to our overall health and wellbeing. The most important two are Oxytocin and Dopamine. Oxytocin helps reduce cortisol levels (hormone stress), lowers blood pressure, promotes growth and healing, and improves memory. Dopamine also improves memory and learning, boosts motivation, promotes healthy sleep, increases bone strength along with many other benefits.
Love can be experienced through healthy relationships, a positive outlook on life and most importantly, through loving ourselves. Love can also be experienced as faith by believing and trusting that everything is working out for our highest good in the long run. Often fear monopolizes our thoughts and that raises our stress levels and alters our physiology in a negative way when it is prolonged. Love is a gentle discipline. The most important discipline is taking control of our thoughts. We are the creator of our thoughts and we have the choice to make them positive or negative. Negative thoughts scare us and tend to dominate our thinking which has a negative effect on our wellbeing.
Love is kindness and compassionate forgiveness toward ourselves and others. This is where true transformation can happen. Forgiveness is not always easy but necessary in the healing journey. Sometimes the most important part of forgiveness is forgiving ourselves. Many of us struggle to forgive ourselves for past mistakes. Love is also gratitude; when we experience deep gratitude in our hearts, we are experiencing love.
While love is innate and we have an endless supply of it inside our hearts, it needs to be cultivated consistently just like we tend to a garden by watering it, removing weeds, and making sure it receives enough sun. Daily attention to cultivating love will yield a happier, more peaceful, and healthy life.
Other ways to experience love are by staying connected with others face to face, physical touch, sharing your feelings with others, being generous, meditating, praying, and eating well.
May your heart be filled with LOVE and JOY and spread it around. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Veronica Correa, LCSW-C, is a licensed clinical social worker, certified hypnotherapist, and life coach
To learn more about her work visit: www.thepersonalwellnesscenter.com
or call 410-742-6016