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YOU CAN FOOL YOUR BRAIN INTO A LOVE STATE.
Science tells us that we can shift our brain into a “love gear” without actually being in a relationship with someone. A peculiar cocktail of hormones and chemicals drives our emotional and psychological state from the moment we fall in love through various stages in a relationship.
It all starts with purely sex hormones, testosterone and estrogen, that manifest themselves as an animal-type attraction. Next comes an emotional stage characterized by a tug-of-war between feel-good (dopamine and serotonin) and stress (adrenaline and cortisol) hormones. Finally, we settle in a state of attachment, with oxytocin playing a major role.
So from aside it is nothing more than a chain of chemical reactions. And as such, it can be replicated exogenously.
Of course no combination of hormones can compare with a true emotional state of a person in love. Nothing can replace a person’s smile, voice or body language.
But playing games with your brain is still fun!
Biologically, falling in love involves the release of a few chemicals in the brain: oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, endorphins and testosterone. Science tells us exactly what makes our brains fall in love … and we can replicate those feelings any time we want!
Chocolate and love have long been associated with each other, and for good reason. Eating chocolate triggers the release of dopamine, a feel-good neurotransmitter that’s also released when we fall in love. This is one of the reasons chocolate is so addicting: our brains come to love the rush that comes from this lighthearted, calm feeling.
Cuddle with your pet
Oxytocin is known as “the love hormone”, and it’s released when we are in close contact with our loved ones. After giving birth, new moms experience a surge in oxytocin that helps them bond with their babies. We also experience an oxytocin rush right after orgasm, which serves to bond us with our partners.
You know who else triggers an oxytocin rush in your brain? Your pet! This is one of the reasons why pet therapy is so effective in treating anxiety and depression—an oxytocin surge helps calm us down, bonds us with another creature, and makes us feel loved.
Let’s talk a little more about the aforementioned dopamine. This feel-good neurotransmitter—as well as endorphins, which also make us feel happy—are released when we exercise. It’s partially responsible for the so-called “runner’s high” that many regularly active people experience—and for some, it can be just as addictive as love.
If you really want some mood-boosting, lovey-dovey feelings, few activities compare to a good meditation session. Meditation causes the brain to release oxytocin, serotonin, endorphins and dopamine—all the ingredients of happiness and love. Seek out a quiet place to be alone, focus on your breath and be present in the moment. Even 15 minutes of meditation can be a huge mood-booster.
Listen to music
Whether an intense love ballad or light acoustic rock is more your jam, music of all kinds can trigger a dopamine rush similar to that of falling in love. This particular dopamine reward system seems to be specific to humans.