Express Love in the Right Way
Love is an emotion that encompasses a wide range of positive and negative emotional and psychological states, from a purest form of religious devotion, the strongest interpersonal bond, to the easiest imaginable pleasure. In fact, love is such a complex emotion, it can only be fully appreciated and understood when an individual comes to terms with all its varying characteristics. The more one comprehends love, the more adept he or she will be at putting it to productive use. Love can be useful in building enduring relationships as well as in developing personal strengths and enhancing self-confidence.
To put love to practical use, one must be able to discern what love means to him or her. Love, after all, cannot be quantified or assessed in terms of dollars and cents. What love is, in the end, boils down to genuine emotions experienced by two people in connection to each other. It involves feelings such as friendship, compassion, trust, safety, acceptance, and belonging. When feelings of these kinds are present in the relationship, love makes it possible for one another to grow as individuals and succeed in life.
According to theories of natural health, harmony, and evolution, love between two individuals is a major contributor to their real, physical health. When two people share real love, they are more likely to make positive choices that promote health in both their bodies and minds. Their relationships are also more likely to elicit helpful reactions from others, creating opportunities for social capital formation and cooperation. They are also less likely to experience unhealthy stress, high blood pressure, or other negative health conditions.
One reason why it can be so beneficial to connect through true feelings when forming a relationship is because true feelings are easier to communicate. In many situations, Dr. Markham asks individuals to talk about their needs and wants with someone who is unable to hear them or respond to them because of cultural bias or a life lived in a society where there are norms against expressing love. Through his work, Dr. Markham helps people understand that “making connections” begins within oneself, within one’s own heart, and with the support of others. In other words, we must first develop the ability to “feel” our way before being able to “talk” our way out of our relationship problems.
Developing a romantic relationships style that works takes time, practice, and nurturing. It takes effort to change one’s patterns of behavior that lead to unhealthy responses to feeling. While the changes do not happen overnight, through dedication and continued focus, individuals slowly change how they respond to their own feelings and this, in turn, has lasting affects on brain regions related to emotion. When the brain regions associated with feelings are activated, the brain releases chemicals that have been known to reduce anxiety and depression and increase feelings of self-love, joy, and contentment.
Finally, Dr. Markham shares a couple of tips on how to avoid common pitfalls that can prevent individuals from expressing love in the ways that they want to. First, he says that it is important to be respectful of one another. In addition, he says that it’s a good idea to use “verbal cues” to communicate rather than just relying on body language. Lastly, he says that it’s important to “model the appropriate response” when you feel like you are getting into a heated conversation, which could lead to arguments if the communication doesn’t progress properly. Through his work, Dr. Markham highlights the importance of connecting with oneself and gives insight into how to do just that.