Written By: Paolo Montoya
With Valentines fast approaching, everyone is scrambling to find the right gifts, the right date spots, or even find someone before the popular holiday. Love is a beautiful part of life, bringing with it happiness and feelings one never thought they could have before. But apart from these obvious effects, what does love do to our brain? How does it affect our grades? The way we act? Our general point of view of life? The truth is, it affects almost every part of life. That is the true power of love on the brain.
The body’s first response to falling in love is the release of hormones. Serotonin furthers the release of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain, the neurotransmitters responsible for happiness and pleasure. Furthermore, love, or even an attractive face can trigger the brain’s opioid system. The brain then associates these opioid releases with the person that caused them, and the cycle of love begins. In the long term, love also incites blood flow throughout the whole body, as well as increasing heartrate. Ultimately, after long term love has been established, oxytocin and vasopressin are released upon every encounter with this person, allowing for a feeling of security and well-being ,as well as joy.
Maria Prieto relates how being in love affects life as a student.
“Falling in love has helped me academically in some way, mainly because he helps me with math, but even then I still feel overall happier in school because I know he’s here with me.” Prieto said.
Love can go far beyond just academics, for it can change the very way we look at our everyday lives. It gives us an incentive, a new reason to wake up every morning and face the world with a smile on our faces.
“It really has changed my life. I just have this desire to experience everything with him. I went to Universal, and I cherish it so much more because he was there, and it’s an experience I never could’ve had on my own.”
Love also gives us a spring in our step, a feeling of joy that nothing else can give us. It allows us to find happiness even in the smallest of things, making every day more meaningful.
“He’s like my other half. I know I can pour myself out to him, tell him all my secrets, and o know he’ll still love me. It’s gives me this confidence, this happiness that I can’t find anywhere else.”
Love is something beautiful, something magical that enriches our lives with a beauty that illuminates every part of it. Even what once seemed to be dark and desolate can be made beautiful with love. It is a force that transforms life into a journey of happiness, one that is worth every step of the way. So this Valentine’s Day, think not of roses, but think of smiles, of warmth, of love, and celebrate love for what it truly is.