Is Love Really Good For You?

in #love5 years ago

                                        Let Love Be Thy Medicine

What is love? These words, so often used as lyrics for many songs, fascinated mankind since its appearance on the face of the Earth. It is said that love is a noble feeling, but many consider it blind as well. No matter how we look at it, we cannot live without love, and it will always be a part of our existence. Still, the meaning of the word “love”, and feelings connected with it, appears to be changed. Back in the days, it had a different meaning, or it was perceived differently because today it seems to have another significance. In the following lines, we will treat this subject in detail, starting with what love is and how it began to be so important for us. Also, we will see it shift, from what was believed to be love a few decades ago, and how is love today.

Love has been present since we were aware of ourselves, of our identity as creatures. Every being with a cerebral activity is capable of love, as it can manifest itself in various forms. It can be love for your parents or offspring, it can be love for your siblings or even peers. It doesn’t have always to get a romantic connotation because love means that you are also willing to do what’s right for the persons around you. Love for your environment will make you protect it, even if it is not a person or something with a conscience. So you see, love comes in different shapes, and it can manifest itself in various forms and feelings. This is why a definition of love will state that it is a variety of states and feelings, even attitudes that can vary from satisfaction to pleasure and affection.

It can be an emotion, triggered by something, like those butterflies you feel in your stomach when you see the loved one. It can be an attraction, usually manifested towards someone of opposite sex. It can be an attachment to someone or something, like a family member or the place where you grew up. It can also represent a virtue, of someone capable of affection, compassion and kindness. So even if cavemen, for instance, did not know how to call it yet, love was still present in their everyday life, in all the previously mentioned forms. Once speaking and languages started to develop worldwide, there had to be a word describing this feeling. Thus, the Indo-Europeans took their word for “love” from Latin, where “lubet” meant that it is pleasing, and “lubido” described the word “desire”. During the Gothic times, the word for love was “lubo”, and “lof” was the first word for it in the early Scandinavian languages. In High Old German, people called it “luba”, and in Old English, it was “lufu”. So it is easy to see that this feeling, common to all the inhabitants of the world, had similar roots all over the planet, regardless of civilization. 

But besides being enjoyable, love bring a great number of benefits for health. With other words, we were made to love and to be loved, since our body demands it. We will not only feel miserable in the lack of love, but there are risks for developing poor health and trigger all sort of diseases. Still, the love that keep us healthy is not the one spiced with high intensity and passion, because this type of love inflicts a lot of stress on us, being both heaven and hell. The love found in a balanced family, or long term relationship is the one that brings most health benefits. It is calmer and constant, inflicting positive energy and a good state of mind. Thus, not only a successful romantic relationship can make us healthier because having family members around, long lasting friendship and people who care about you will have the same effects, because they all imply love, in its different shades. 


So, how can love improve your health, more exactly? First of all, it protects your heart. Yes, the organ connected with love, as it is believed to be the center of our being, headquarter of all feelings, in a symbolical manner, is protected by love. A medical study showed that in the case of women who enjoy a great marriage, the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases is much lower. Even if being alone may seem a stress less option, it is not, at least not for our healthy. A study called the National Longitudinal Mortality Study, which started following individuals since 1979, proved that the ones that were married lived longer lives. The married persons recorded fewer cases of heart attacks, had a lower incidence of cancer and even suffered of pneumonia lesser than the ones that chose celibacy. Thus, we are not made to live alone. And apparently, love is a great sidekick in the battle against cancer. Women that were unrolling a treatment for ovarian cancer had stronger cells that were fighting the disease off if they had healthy relationships with other persons. The ones that didn’t, were not so responsive to the treatment, so knowing that you have someone there for you is motivating enough to fight against this horrible disease.

When it comes to romance, it is said that sex is an important part of having a successful love relationship. Well, it may be, but it is not as important as bonding. Love is more than physical touch, representing a powerful connection we have with the other person, that feeling of closeness we all crave for, a cohesion that makes us pass over the worst moments of our lives. To support this statement, other studies were made, this time following persons that were under the pressure of their daily job. The ones that had a pleasant time at home, due to a successful marriage, managed to reduce their blood pressure, which was elevated in all subjects at the moment of leaving for home. So a relationship based on respect, support, love, affection, and communication, will help anyone reduce stress and solve any moment of crisis. 

If we are to make a comparison between how love was back in the days, and how it is today, we might be struck by a significant different. A few decades ago, love was more romantic, more innocent, physical relationships taking place mostly only after marriage, sex for fun did not exist, only in the cases of the most rebel persons. It didn’t matter if you are wealthy because you could win a girl’s heart with a flower or a poem written just for her. Today, these things are considered to be obsolete. In an era dominated by consumerism, we offer as gifts the latest gadgets, expensive jewelry or branded accessories. The purity of love seems to have disappeared, as many women try to look for a partner that has a solid financial status, instead of focusing on building a relationship based on communication and cohesion. 

Not only the relationship within a couple changed, but also how families are today. For instance, in the past, only the man, considered to be the head of the family, used to go to work. The woman usually remained at home, focusing on the upbringing and education of their children. In those cases, the children always enjoyed the love and presence of their mother, learning everything they needed to know about life from their parents. Also, it was pride for every man to be able to have a job that allowed him to sustain an entire family, without the need of his wife to work. And in the family where the parents had enough time to care for their children and offer them not only material goods but also love, affection, attention and proper education, there weren’t so many cases of anxiety and depression among kids, not even teenagers. 


  These days, love within a family tends to be more about offering money, goods, and comfort. Now both parents go to work, and they usually spend more time there, than with their family and children, in the continuous run of achieving a higher level on the social hierarchy and, implicit, a better financial status. So what happens with the children in this case? Most of them are brought up by nannies, many of them taking this aspect as a job, not offering the real love and attention of a mother. Children end up feeling sad and neglected, even if they live in wealth. At a young age, the magic of having a new toy passes fast, because what kids want most is the attention of their parents. Thus, to achieve it, we see many children adopting a misbehavior or rebel attitude, trying to acquire their much-needed attention through negative deeds, since the good ones did not work, in their opinion. Also, there is a higher incidence of depression and other mental disorders among teenagers, who end up taking drugs and thinking about suicide, because they feel like outcasts, in the lack of parental love. So this beautiful feeling is rather deformed in modern days, because man’s priorities changed, priming a better financial status instead.


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