by Alyssa Witte
Love is sweet, powerful and often inexplicable. Even science agrees. Here are just a few of the fascinating things researchers have uncovered about that mysterious thing called love… For more captivating mysteries, subscribe to Mysterious Ways magazine.
Studies from UCLA and the National Institutes of Health show that people in happy marriages have stronger bone densities.
According to the American Heart Association, a broken heart can actually be fatal. “Broken heart syndrome” is triggered by emotional distress and mimics a heart attack. You can read more about the fascinating science behind a broken heart here.
Don’t forget to kiss your wife before work! A German study found that men who kiss their wives before work live five years longer, earn a higher income and are less likely to get in a car accident.
Love is good for your nervous system. Scientists at the University of Pavia in Italy found that falling in love calms both mind and body, restores your nervous system and improves memory.
The heart never forgets. Neuropsychologist Paul Pearsall observed that heart transplant recipients sometimes retain their donor’s memories.
That butterfly feeling you get in your stomach when you see someone you adore? It’s real. But it’s caused by adrenaline, not actual butterflies.
Love really is blind. According to the Harvard Mahoney Neuroscience Institute, “When we are engaged in romantic love, the neural machinery responsible for making critical assessments of other people, including assessments of those with whom we are romantically involved, shuts down.”
A study in California noted that gazing at a photograph of a loved one can measurably decrease physical pain.
Love makes everything sweet. When asked to rate foods, people in loving relationships experienced sweet and bitter foods – even water! – as sweeter, reported the journal Emotion.
According to the HeartMath Institute, the heart produces a strong electrical field that can be measured from several feet away.
Love is a creativity booster. Dutch researchers observed that people in love focus more on the future, which increases holistic and creative thinking.
Cuddling and holding hands releases natural painkillers like oxytocin in your brain, according to data from UCLA.
A UC Davis study of 32 couples found that staring into your beloved’s eyes for three minutes can cause your heartbeats to sync up.
Love letters are good for you! An Arizona State study showed writing affectionately about someone you love – romantically or platonically – can lower your cholesterol.
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