Thoughts To Live By…

Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

1. Words of Affirmation

Mark Twain once said “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”  Verbal appreciation speaks powerfully to persons whose primary Love Language is “Words of Affirmation.”  Simple statements, such as, “You look great in that suit,” or “You must be the best baker in the world! I love your oatmeal cookies,” are sometimes all a person needs to hear to feel loved.

Aside from verbal compliments, another way to communicate through “Words of Affirmation” is to offer encouragement.  Here are some examples: reinforcing a difficult decision; calling attention to progress made on a current project; acknowledging a person’s unique perspective on an important topic. If a loved one listens for “Words of Affirmation,” offering encouragement will help him or her to overcome insecurities and develop greater confidence.

2. Quality Time

Quality time is more than mere proximity. It’s about focusing all your energy on your mate. A husband watching sports while talking to his wife is NOT quality time. Unless all of your attention is focused on your mate, even an intimate dinner for two can come and go without a minute of quality time being shared.

Quality conversation is very important in a healthy relationship. It involves sharing experiences, thoughts, feelings and desires in a friendly, uninterrupted context. A good mate will not only listen, but offer advice and respond to assure their mate they are truly listening. Many mates don’t expect you to solve their problems. They need a sympathetic listener.

An important aspect of quality conversation is self-revelation. In order for you to communicate with your mate, you must also be in tune with your inner emotions. It is only when you understand your emotions and inner feelings will you then be able to share quality conversation, and quality time with your mate.

Quality activities are a very important part of quality time. Many mates feel most loved when they spend physical time together, doing activities that they love to do. Spending time together will bring a couple closer, and, in the years to come, will fill up a memory bank that you can reminisce about in the future.
Whether it’s sitting on the couch and having a brief conversation or playing together in a tennis league, quality time is a love language that is shared by many. Setting aside focused time with your mate will ensure a happy marriage.

3. Receiving Gifts

Some mates respond well to visual symbols of love. If you speak this love language, you are more likely to treasure any gift as an expression of love and devotion. People who speak this love language often feel that a lack of gifts represents a lack of love from their mate. Luckily, this love language is one of the easiest to learn.

If you want to become an effective gift giver, many mates will have to learn to change their attitude about money. If you are naturally a spender, you will have no trouble buying gifts for your mate. However, a person who is used to investing and saving their money may have a tough time adjusting to the concept of spending money as an expression of love. These people must understand that you are investing the money not in gifts, but in deepening your relationship with your mate.

The gift of self is an important symbol of love. Sometimes all your mate desires is for someone to be there for them, going through the same trials and experiencing the same things. Your body can become a very powerful physical symbol of love.

These gifts need not to come every day, or even every week. They don’t even need to cost a lot of money. Free, frequent, expensive, or rare, if your mate relates to the language of receiving gifts, any visible sign of your love will leave them feeling happy and secure in your relationship.

4. Acts of Service

Sometimes simple chores around the house can be an undeniable expression of love. Even simple things like laundry and taking out the trash require some form of planning, time, effort, and energy. Just as Jesus demonstrated when he washed the feet of his disciples, doing humble chores can be a very powerful expression of love and devotion to your mate.

Very often, both pairs in a couple will speak to the Acts of Service Language. However, it is very important to understand what acts of service your mate most appreciates. Even though couples are helping each other around the house, couples will still fight because the are unknowingly communicating with each other in two different dialects. For example, a wife may spend her day washing the cars and walking the dog, but if her husband feels that laundry and dishes are a superior necessity, he may feel unloved, despite the fact that his wife did many other chores throughout the day. It is important to learn your mate’s dialect and work hard to understand what acts of service will show your love.

It is important to do these acts of service out of love and not obligation. A mate who does chores and helps out around the house out of guilt or fear will inevitably not be speaking a language of love, but a language of resentment. It’s important to perform these acts out of the kindness of your heart.

Demonstrating the acts of service can mean stepping out of the stereotypes. Acts of service require both mates to humble themselves into doing some chores and services that aren’t usually expected from their gender. However, these little sacrifices will mean the world to your mate, and will ensure a happy relationship.

5. Physical Touch

Many mates feel the most loved when they receive physical contact from their partner. For a mate who speaks this love language loudly, physical touch can make or break the relationship.

Sexual intercourse makes many mates feel secure and loved in a marriage. However, it is only one dialect of physical touch. Many parts of the body are extremely sensitive to stimulation. It is important to discover how your partner not only physically responds but also psychologically responds to these touches.

It is important to learn how your mate speaks the physical touch language. Some touches are irritating and uncomfortable for your mate. Take the time to learn the touches your mate likes. They can be big acts, such as back massages or lovemaking, or little acts such as touches on the cheek or a hand on the shoulder. It’s important to learn how your mate responds to touch. That is how you will make the most of this love language.

All marriages will experience crisis. In these cases, physical touch is very important. In a crisis situation, a hug can communicate an immense amount of love for that person. A person whose primary love language is physical touch would much rather have you hold them and be silent than offer any advice.

It is important to remember that this love language is different for everyone. What type of touch makes you feel secure is not necessarily what will make your partner happy. It is important to learn each other’s dialects. That way you can make the most of your hugging, kissing, and other physical contacts.

Author: Gary Chapman

http://www.fivelovelanguages.com/books_married.html

Picture: http://www.naute.com/wink/

Lower Blood Pressure, Fewer Colds, Better Stress Management Are Just the Beginning


“I need somebody to love,” sang the Beatles, and they got it right. Love and health are intertwined in surprising ways. Humans are wired for connection, and when we cultivate good relationships, the rewards are immense. But we’re not necessarily talking about spine-tingling romance.

“There’s no evidence that the intense, passionate stage of a new romance is beneficial to health,” says Harry Reis, PhD, co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Human Relationships. “People who fall in love say it feels wonderful and agonizing at the same time.” All those ups and downs can be a source of stress.

It takes a calmer, more stable form of love to yield clear health benefits. “There is very nice evidence that people who participate in satisfying, long-term relationships fare better on a whole variety of health measures,” Reis tells WebMD.

Most of the research in this area centers on marriage, but Reis believes many of the perks extend to other close relationships — for example, with a partner, parent, or friend. The key is to “feel connected to other people, feel respected and valued by other people, and feel a sense of belonging,” he says. Here are 10 research-backed ways that love and health are linked:

1. Fewer Doctor’s Visits

The Health and Human Services Department reviewed a bounty of studies on marriage and health. One of the report’s most striking findings is that married people have fewer doctor’s visits and shorter average hospital stays.

“Nobody quite knows why loving relationships are good for health,” Reis says. “The best logic for this is that human beings have been crafted by evolution to live in closely knit social groups. When that is not happening, the biological systems … get overwhelmed.”

Another theory is that people in good relationships take better care of themselves. A spouse may keep you honest in your oral hygiene. A best friend could motivate you to eat more whole grains. Over time, these good habits translate to fewer illnesses.

2. Less Depression & Substance Abuse

According to the Health and Human Services report, getting married and staying married reduces depression in both men and women. This finding is not surprising, Reis says, because social isolation is clearly linked to higher rates of depression. What’s interesting is that marriage also contributes to a decline in heavy drinking and drug abuse, especially among young adults.

3. Lower Blood Pressure

A happy marriage is good for your blood pressure. That’s the conclusion of a study in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine. Researchers found happily married people had the best blood pressure, followed by singles. Unhappily married participants fared the worst.

Reis says this study illustrates a vital aspect of the way marriage affects health. “It’s marital quality and not the fact of marriage that makes a difference,” he tells WebMD. This supports the idea that other positive relationships can have similar benefits. In fact, singles with a strong social network also did well in the blood pressure study, though not as well as happily married people.

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By Sherry Rauh
WebMD FeatureLink: chttp://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/modern-love-8/health-benefits

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:5

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he said that love is not rude. “Love does not behave itself unseemly” is the way the King James version puts it. This kind of love separates itself from the in-your-face rudeness often displayed today. We are living in a time when civility seems to take a back seat to brashness – in our speech, in advertising, in the way we treat each other.

Ask yourself, “How would I feel if I were on the receiving end of my humor or my comments?” Any act that makes another feel inferior, embarrassed or offended falls into the category of rudeness. Agape love shows the restraint that keeps you from hurting another, no matter how funny you think what you want to say is.

The seventh characteristic of agape love that Paul lists is that love is not self-seeking. One word summarizes this negative. It is selfishness, as opposed to generosity or being self-sacrificing.

The selflessness of agape love insists the other has the larger piece of steak, the last piece of chocolate and the softest side of the bed.

The eighth characteristic of agape love in this list of descriptions found in 1 Corinthians 13 is that love is not easily angered. Paul doesn’t say that agape love never yields to anger, because there is a time and a place for anger. Paul then says agape love keeps no record of wrongdoing. It thinks no evil. I never cease to be amazed at the instant recall some people have for the faults and failures of another. Agape love, says Paul, is forgetful. It forgives and forgets. It refuses to fight fire with fire. It returns wrongdoing with acts of kindness. It’s the kind that turns enemies into friends.

TODAY COUNTS
By Dr. Harold J. Sala
Updated February 08, 2009 12:00 AM
Link:
http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=438347&publicationSubCategoryId=90

Picture: http://www.pyzam.com/funnypictures/details/3760?sort=popular&cat=love

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WASHINGTON – Like any young woman in love, Bianca Acevedo has exchanged Valentine hearts with her fiance.

But the New York neuroscientist knows better. The source of love is in the head, not the heart.

She is one of the researchers in a relatively new field focused on explaining the biology of romantic love. And the unpoetic explanation is that love mostly can be understood through brain images, hormones and genetics.

That seems to be the case for the newly in love, the long in love and the brokenhearted.

“It has a biological basis. We know some of the key players,” said Larry Young of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University in Atlanta. There, he studies the brains of an unusual monogamous rodent to get a better clue about what goes on in the minds of people in love.

In humans, there are four tiny areas of the brain that some researchers say form a circuit of love.

Acevedo, who works at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, is part of a team that has isolated those regions with the unromantic names of ventral tegmental area (VTA), the nucleus accumbens, the ventral pallidum and raphe nucleus.

The hot spot is the teardrop-shaped VTA. When people newly in love were put in a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine and shown pictures of their beloved, the VTA lit up. Same for people still madly in love after 20 years.

The VTA is part of a key reward system in the brain.

“These are cells that make dopamine and send it to different brain regions,” said Helen Fisher, a researcher and professor at Rutgers University. “This part of the system becomes activated because you’re trying to win life’s greatest prize – a mating partner.”

One of the research findings isn’t so complimentary: Love works chemically in the brain like a drug addiction.

“Romantic love is an addiction; a wonderful addiction when it is going well, a horrible one when it is going poorly,” Fisher said.

“People kill for love. They die for love.”

The connection to addiction “sounds terrible,” Acevedo acknowledged. “Love is supposed to be something wonderful and grand, but it has its reasons. The reason I think is to keep us together.”

But sometimes love does not keep us together. So the scientists studied the brains of the recently heartbroken and found additional activity in the nucleus accumbens, which is even more strongly associated with addiction.

“The brokenhearted show more evidence of what I’ll call craving,” said Lucy Brown, a neuroscientist also at Einstein medical college. “Similar to craving the drug cocaine.”

The team’s most recent brain scans were aimed at people married about 20 years who say they are still holding hands, lovey-dovey as newlyweds, a group that is a minority of married people. In these men and women, two more areas of the brain lit up, along with the VTA: the ventral pallidum and raphe nucleus.

The ventral pallidum is associated with attachment and hormones that decrease stress; the raphe nucleus pumps out serotonin, which “gives you a sense of calm,” Fisher said.

Those areas produce “a feeling of nothing wrong. It’s a lower-level happiness and it’s certainly rewarding,” Brown said.

The scientists say they study the brain in love just to understand how it works, as well as for more potentially practical uses.

The research could eventually lead to pills based on the brain hormones which, with therapy, might help troubled relationships, although there are ethical issues, Young said. His bonding research is primarily part of a larger effort aimed at understanding and possibly treating social-interaction conditions such as autism. And Fisher is studying brain chemistry that could explain why certain people are attracted to each other. She’s using it as part of a popular Internet matchmaking service for which she is the scientific adviser.

While the recent brain research is promising, University of Hawaii psychology professor Elaine Hatfield cautions that too much can be made of these studies alone. She said they need to be meshed with other work from traditional psychologists.

Brain researchers are limited because there is only so much they can do to humans without hurting them. That’s where the prairie vole – a chubby, short-tailed mouselike creature – comes in handy. Only 5 percent of mammals more or less bond for life, but prairie voles do, Young said.

Scientists studied voles to figure out what makes bonding possible. In females, the key bonding hormone is oxytocin, also produced in both voles and humans during childbirth, Young said.

When scientists blocked oxytocin receptors, the female prairie voles didn’t bond.

In males, it’s vasopressin. Young put vasopressin receptors into the brains of meadow voles – a promiscuous cousin of the prairie voles – and “those guys who should never, ever bond with a female, bonded with a female.”

Researchers also uncovered a genetic variation in a few male prairie voles that are not monogamous – and found it in some human males, too.

Those men with the variation ranked lower on an emotional bonding scale, reported more marital problems, and their wives had more concerns about their level of attachment, said Hasse Walum, a biology researcher in Sweden. It was a small but noticeable difference, Walum said.

Scientists figure they now know better how to keep those love circuits lit and the chemicals flowing.

Young said that romantic love theoretically can be simulated with chemicals, but “if you really want to get the relationship spark back, then engage in the behavior that stimulates the release of these molecules and allow them to stimulate the emotions,” he said. That would be hugging, kissing, intimate contact.

“My wife tells me that flowers work as well. I don’t know for sure,” Young said. “As a scientist it’s hard to see how it stimulates the circuits, but I do know they seem to have an effect. And the absence of them seems to have an effect as well.” AP

Source: Philippine Star
Date:
Updated February 13, 2009 12:00 AM
Link: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=439896&publicationSubCategoryId=68

We cannot beg someone to stay
if they want to leave
and be with someone else.
We have to admit that love
doesn’t give us
the license to own a person.
This is what love means…
sacrifice.

Deep in my heart,
I’m suffering,
knowing that
I’ve lost you.
On the outside,
I’m living,
pretending that
I’ve forgotten you

I just want one day to go by
where I’m not pretending I’m happy!

Once upon a time I was falling in love,
but now I’m only falling apart.

Other men said they have seen angels,
But I have seen thee,
And thou art enough.

You will never know true happiness,
until you have truly loved,
and you will never understand,
what pain really is,
until you have lost it.

Forget the times
he walked by,
Forget the times
he made you cry,
Forget the times
he spoke your name,
Remember now

You’r e not the same.
Forget the times
he held your hand,
Forget the
sweet things if you can,
Forget the times
& Don’t pretend,
Remember now
he’s just your friend.

I had a dream and it was about you …
I smiled and recalled the memories we had …
then I noticed a tear fell from my eyes …
you know why?
Coz in my dream you kissed me
and said goodbye …

The way to love anything is to
realize that it might be lost.


True love doesn’t have a happy ending, because true love never ends. Letting go is one way of saying I love you.


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