YOU GET HOOKED
Love can be overwhelming but in a good way. It’s a magical time when you spend your days thinking about the good times you have together. The feeling of love can sometimes cause you to lose your appetite as well as sleep, but you won’t change the feeling for the world. Could it be that we’re simply hooked on love? According to assistant professor at the Syracuse University, Stephanie Ortigue and her team of researchers, the feeling of being in love can sometimes be compared to a craving. When you fall in love the feeling causes the dopaminergic subcortical system in your brain to light up releasing euphoria-inducing chemicals. These chemicals include adrenaline, dopamine, oxytocin and vasopressin. All the ‘ingredients’ you need to feel that wonderful and magical feeling when you fall in love.
LOVE MAKES YOU CONQUER THE IMPOSSIBLE
With the love of your life by your side, you feel that anything is possible. There’s nothing you won’t do to impress the person you romantically admire. But why do we suddenly feel we can do anything we put our minds to? Falling in love means that the amygdala and frontal and prefrontal cortecies in the brain become less active. This means, that you’re less capable of recognising fear or analysing things in your mind. In a moment all your fears could instantly disappear and nothing in this world seems impossible. You may be afraid of heights, but when you’re with her you feel like you can skydive or climb the highest mountain. There’s simply no limitation to where your love can take you.
YOU HAVE BUTTERFLIES
Ever wondered why you feel nervous and a little sick to your stomach when you’re in love? Being in love gives you the feeling of having “butterflies in your stomach”. You feel excited, scared, emotional and just plain happy. This is all due to the ‘love hormone’ also known as oxytocin. When your body releases this hormone it makes you feel extremely happy, but it can also cause you to lose your appetite. Your body will then also release cortisol – a hormone that causes stress and confusion. Nonetheless, the feeling of being in love is still completely worth it.
LOVE MAKES YOU WANT TO SHOUT IF FROM THE ROOFTOPS
If you’re in love you want the world to know. There’s nothing stopping you from shouting it from the rooftops. But what causes this indescribable feeling that makes you feel like you want to be loud and proud? When you fall in love, certain areas of your brain become more active – a reason why you become smitten and sometimes even act a bit foolish. Today, a popular way to show the world that you’re simply head over heels is by posting romantic messages and photos on Facebook or social media. It’s a good way to inform your loved ones and friends that you’re on cloud nine.
YOUR PUPILS DILATE
Do you want to know if the other person is feeling the same way as you? You can do this, by simply looking into their eyes. When you’re in love your pupils dilate when you stare into the other person’s eyes. The scientific reason for this is because being in love causes your autonomic nervous system’s sympathetic branch to be stimulated.
LOVE CAUSES SWEATY PALMS AND A BEATING HEART
There’s nothing more nerve-wracking than holding hands knowing that you’re suffering from sweaty palms. But what exactly causes this reaction to happen? When you fall in love the feeling of being close to the other person causes your body to increase blood flow to the brain’s reward circuit or pleasure centre. Your body then automatically releases two powerful hormones – adrenalin and norepinephrine (the stress hormone). The combination of these two hormones causes your palms to sweat and your heart to skip a beat. It also causes you to be extremely focused on a topic. In this case, you can’t stop thinking about the person you romantically admire.
LOVE MAKES YOU WANT TO DO ROMANTIC GESTURES
Research has shown that we spend 85% of the day thinking about the person we’re falling in love with - another reason why we won’t hesitate to shower them with gifts. Love makes you feel an instant connection and bond with each other that you would like to protect and nurture. And what better way to do this than by making romantic gestures of love?
LOVE MAKES YOU EXTREMELY HAPPY
Even though you feel extremely nervous, your palms sweat and your pupils dilate, when you’re in love it can also make you feel like you’re on top of the world. Just by kissing, your body releases hormones such as dopamine and feel-good endorphins. The feeling is similar to when you finish an intense workout at the gym. You feel positive, happy and on cloud nine.
There’s no denying that love has a powerful effect on us. Celebrate the love you share with your significant other this Valentine’s Day. Shout it from the rooftops, climb the highest mountain or simply spoil her with a gift she will treasure forever. View our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for the perfect gift of love.