By: Tamara Ince
World renowned physician and researcher Sir David R. Hawkins, M.D. Ph.D. found that “disease is an expression of one’s attitude and habitual ways of looking at things.” Prolonged exposure to negativity and trauma can disrupt your nervous system and contribute to anxiety, cardiac problems, insomnia, emotional flooding, digestive issues, and more. However, affirming love, whether it is self-love or love from others, heals. Not only can love heal people emotionally and mentally, published research articles from Anand, Daykin, Garland, Greenlee, Zebrack and others have shown that, when integrated into treatment plans, love can help heal medical ailments, even supposedly terminal ailments such as cancer. For example, Stamatis Moraitis was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and told treatment could not save his life. He skipped treatment and went home to bask in the love of his wife and old friends. Over twenty-five years later he was still alive, feeling better than ever, farming a vineyard, and living to 102.
Small acts like a mother kissing an injured toddler, a family providing a supportive loving environment, or simple acts of kindness by people, who you feel have your best interests at heart, can reduce or eliminate the effects of physical and mental pain and illness. Yes, logically a kiss should not be able to remove pain, but distributed love actions do have a placebo effect, as noted in the research by Esch. Just think back of how, when you felt like the world was collapsing around you, after receiving a simple text or e-mail from a loved one the day or your motivation to push on instantly improved. Alas, as we progress through life and our career, things become more complicated and we lose our core support network. As Maya Angelou noted in Touched by an Angel, we can end up living “coiled in shells of loneliness”. This is why it is critical for people to build out their support network as they age, so they can bring more love into their life so, in Angelou’s words, it can come “into our sight to liberate us into life.”
How do you pursue and support healing love? If you are not in a partnering relationship, you can reach out and connect with colleagues at work, volunteer activities, group sports, travel, or support groups. You can also adopt a pet (aka emotional support animal) or plan activities to reconnect with friends or family. If you have a partner, try putting more effort into positive communication, seeking understanding, being supportive, sharing needs and wants, finding balance and win-win solutions, being present and accountable to your partner, and just showing up to provide support wherever and whenever your partner needs it to help them grow and excel.
Let’s celebrate Valentine’s Day. I encourage you to pursue love in all forms, so that you have the physical and mental support you deserve and need to continue to grow and reach your full potential. If healthy love alludes you, contact us at Ince Counseling, 1.833.968.8522. In honor of Valentine’s Day, this February through mid-March, we are offering a limited number of discounted rate (Special Pricing) for singles and couples interested in Relationship Consulting. Let’s make sure your February is full of love.
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Breitbart, William, et al. "Pilot randomized controlled trial of individual meaning-centered psychotherapy for patients with advanced cancer." Journal of Clinical Oncology 30.12 (2012): 1304.
Brockmann, Hilke, and Thomas Klein. "Love and death in Germany: The marital biography and its effect on mortality." Journal of Marriage and Family 66.3 (2004): 567-581.
Daykin, Norma, Stuart McClean, and Leslie Bunt. "Creativity, identity and healing: participants' accounts of music therapy in cancer care." Health: 11.3 (2007): 349-370.
Ellsberg, Mary, et al. "Intimate partner violence and women's physical and mental health in the WHO multi-country study on women's health and domestic violence: an observational study." The Lancet 371.9619 (2008): 1165-1172.
Esch, Tobias, and George B. Stefano. "Love promotes health." Neuroendocrinology Letters 26.3 (2005): 264-267.
Garland, Sheila N., et al. "A non-randomized comparison of mindfulness-based stress reduction and healing arts programs for facilitating post-traumatic growth and spirituality in cancer outpatients." Supportive Care in Cancer 15.8 (2007): 949-961.