It is the month of Love, so Mind Chi has researched 8 useful and practical love potions.
Love does wonderful things for your state of mind and it also offers natural stress relief. In healthy relationships, the power of love is strong enough to keep your heart happy and your mind and body healthy.
Loving potion 1: How Love Helps
Sharing in life’s joys and challenges is one of the great benefits of being in a relationship. “When you are in a loving marriage or a good relationship, you have somebody there to share your worries, to talk through problems and to enjoy free time with,” says Sally R. Connolly, a social worker and therapist with the Couples Clinic of Louisville in Louisville, Ky. Relationships can provide stress relief by simply not leaving you to shoulder every burden completely on your own, Connelly explains. You also have someone “to visualize the future with. Somebody who is there for you and witnesses your life,” adds Connolly. A number of studies have found that people in healthy marriages live longer and have fewer health problems than people who are unhappily married or not in a relationship, according to Connolly. Such is the power of love. What’s more, people who are happily married not only benefit from stress relief, they suffer less often from depression, too. A loving partner can share the responsibility of stressful situations, offer support, a listening ear and advice when you need it. And when you need to remember happier, easier times, a loving partner can help with that as well.
Love potion 2: Remember the power of play
Any relationship is enhanced by some ‘play-time’. When did you last play? Look at how much fun children have when they play and how boundless their energy! How can you make aspects of your work into ‘play’? You can still be as careful and precise, but you will have enjoyed yourself (and the others as well) and the day will fly by – go on, give it a go!
Love potion 3: Little things mean a lot
Love and friendship do require an input of effort and energy, however, that is rewarded 100 time over. Send a text, give an unsolicited hug, give a flower – just that you have thought and shared will be so appreciated by the other and make your relationship stronger.
Love potion 4: Mending Relationships
If you have a relationship with a spouse, partner, or loved one that is a little rocky, focus on fixing it. An unhealthy relationship is just one more stressor that you don’t need and repairing it can provide stress relief and improve your health — and you’ll just feel better about it. Getting started can be tough, but Connolly suggests just reaching out to your loved one. Was there was a problem or issue that divided the relationship that needs to be addressed before you can move on? Or, if you just grew apart, consider rebuilding that relationship.
Love potion 5: Learning to Show Affection
Not everyone is comfortable with affection — perhaps it’s just your personality or the influence of family when you were growing up. If being affectionate is difficult for you, consider trying to start expressing your feelings to those in your life who you love, to strengthen these relationships. Start with small steps, reaching out physically (hugging or a gentle touch) or with affectionate words or actions. From there, you can slowly build on your relationship and your physical affection. “Congratulate yourself each time that you stretch out of your comfort zone and notice the effect that it has on your partner,” says Connolly.
Love medicine 6: Laugh together!
Share a funny film or TV show, recall funny incidences, look for moments when you can laugh. Laughter and love are two very powerful healing agents and your life feels so much richer as well. Vanda adds, ‘Look for opportunities to laugh at yourself as well, I often cause myself to chuckle and then I share it with my husband and friends and we all have a laugh.
Love potion 7: ‘Get over it!’ GOI
Many of the issues that can easily derail a relationship are REALLY not that big of a deal. You can choose to make it so, or equally, if you value the person and the relationship, you can just ‘Get over it!’ and get on with the pleasurable parts!
Steps 3 and 4 of the Mind Chi Basic 8 minute routine, help you to look at the past 24 hours. What might you want to do differently, should the issue happen again? Learn the lessons and then wrap it up and let it go. You also look for all the little successes you had in building your relationships and hold on to those.
The full Mind Chi 8 steps may be seen here.
Love potion 8: Give it some time
Keeping a loving relationship alive and thriving, does require an infusion of time. When you think ‘Oh, I must call so-and-so!’ DO it! You don’t need to make it a marathon (unless you want) but just to say, ‘I had a moment while the kettle was boiling and wanted to say Hi!’ Putting aside an evening or some of the week end to enjoy each other, or having a ‘date’ or as Vanda’s American friends say ‘Let’s visit’! Talking, sharing, listening, laughing, being there for each other is the greatest gift you both can receive.
Life presents many challenges and stressors and you need someone there to support you through the difficult times — whether it’s a good friend, family member, spouse, or partner. And it’s equally important to have someone to share in happy times and celebrations. Take time to focus on the relationships in your life and reap the benefits. Just knowing that you have love, support, and help from a loved one can give you positive stress relief.
The ONLY Resilient Woman Warrior, Vanda North conducts ‘How to be a MORE Resilient Woman’ sessions, why not enjoy one for your Valentine gift?
Points 1, 4 & 5 were adapted from the original article by: Diana Rodriguez and medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MP http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living/love-reduces-stress.aspx