Life

The Science of Love - Must Read

Love has captured our imagination and curiosity for thousands of years. Whether it is poet, scientist or philosopher, the idea of love is fascinating and yet enigmatic.

Love is not novel. Almost all of us feel the rush of falling in love for the first time at some point in life. Many of us also cling to this love for long years. People feel deep affection and love for friends and family.

But let's see what science of love is from a biological perspective.

What cocaine actually does is that it lowers the threshold of pleasure centers in the brain hence it is easy to feel good. That is why when a person is in love, he feels good all the time and it is very easy to make him happy. Because of this you not only feel love for that one person but also build a romanticized view of the world around you.Love has definite bonds with the evolution and survival of humankind. Fiction associated love with the heart but reality supports that love actually happens in the brain. Science has proven that the brain of a person deep in love is similar to that of a cocaine addict.

A person in the dawn of love has low levels of a chemical called serotonin. This is the same deficiency as the one faced by a person with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. That is why we hardly focus on anything while being in love and say that I think about her all the time. Now we know what causes obsession and infatuation during early love.

The brain releases certain chemicals that not only make us crave the company of our loved ones but also makes the heart more sexually aroused. Love is not just an emotional drive; it is a drive from the motor of the mind. This provides the body with focus and energy.

These areas associated with romantic love can stay active for decades. And that is why many people tend to fall deeper and deeper in love as the time passes.

Along with the many physiological and psychological components that add up to give rise to love, science is still not sure about exactly why or how love works. Yet, somehow
we all seem to know it when we feel it!

Also read:

Love Sickness and Its Impacts on You

The Scientific Power of Thoughts

For years, humans believed that the brain was static, locked and unchanging. But now our understanding has changed drastically to the point where we now see the brain is dynamic and constantly changing. And what if I told you that thinking could not affect our body but also our lives. There is incredible power in thoughts and we will learn about it in the lines below.

Imaging and Doing

From the perspective of neuroscience, imagining an action and actually doing it requires the same motor and sensory functions of the brain. For example, if you imagine an alphabet, let's say 'B' the primary visual cortex lights up in the same way as it would when you actually see the letter B. The time it takes for you to image yourself writing down your signature is almost equal to the time it actually takes when you write down the signature with your dominant hand.

It proves that the action and imagination are integrated and follow the same neural pathways. Practicing one facilitates and improves the other.

Psychological Experiments

A psychological study took two groups and had them practice piano for two hours except one group was allowed to practice on the real piano but used mental practice. They were not allowed to touch the piano but would sit in front of it and imagine practicing. The result is that the same physical changes took place in the motor cortex of both groups. When the mental group was given a chance to practice physically, they were able to grasp and learn faster and catch up to their skill level quickly.

An experiment to strengthen muscles was conducted. Both groups did the same muscle exercises for 4 weeks, though one group only did it mentally. Those who actually did the exercise increased the strength by 30% while the other group's strength increased by 22%. This is because that although the mental exercise group didn't do any physical practice but they still used the neurons for movement instructions.

Our thoughts do not have some mystical and magical power but mental practice is an effective way to prepare for a physical skill. Each thought changes the structure and function of brain at a microscopic level. Only day dreaming would lead you anywhere but a little mental practice wont hurt!

Also read:

Family System of the East vs of the West

As feminism has had its course and as college education has become common among girls, the family system has changed as a side effect, especially in the west. In the older days, the man of the family was supposed to earn while the woman's prime duty was to look after the household. This meant that the woman or the mother had a greater amount of time to spend with the children and spend looking after her husband; this lead to greater bonding among the family members. It is still the same in most of the households here in the east. But, in the west, now as educated women have joined the men in the workplaces, it has signalled a titanic shift in the family systems of old. The number one priority for many women now is their careers and family has taken a back seat. Some 58.6% percent of women aged above 16 are working in the US as compared to only 29% in India. This shows that the women in the east generally tend to stay at home and invest more of their time in their families compared to their western counterparts.

Is this a Good Thing?

Economic statistics show that the participation of women in the workplace strengthens the economy. But this comes at the cost of family life. The kids do not get as much care from a working woman as they can get from a stay-at-home woman when growing up. This extra care can often mean the difference between the kid becoming a well-groomed, responsible citizen or becoming an unkempt, irresponsible one who is a burden on the state and the society.

How Family Life Helps Everyone

Family is the closest a person comes to anyone in his or her life. When a person does not have a family he or she is close with, then the person does not have anyone to share his or her feelings with in times of stress and fatigue. This often results in depression and loneliness which are some prime causes of unhappiness among people in the west. Despite being financially stable, these people cannot find happiness due to the lack of a happy family life. When the family is happy and close to each other, then they share their feelings and experiences with each other, and help each other out of life's challenges.

Therefore, it is undoubtedly important that women contribute to the economy and the society by working in the work-places, but family life should not be sacrificed for this end. Family should still be the number one priority for women.

The Materialistic West: Is it Good to be Materialistic? Do Money, Status Give Happiness?

The west (North America and Europe) is the richest region in the world. You get what you strive for; and as they have striven for prosperity and development, they have got it. But this obsession with wealth has had effects on their psyche. The sole mission of most of the people there is to get prosperous and thus they focus all of their energy and their resources to this end.

Money and Happiness

Is it good to be materialistic? No it is not. There are many things that complete life and being financially stable is just one of those many things. You need to have happy relationships, a happening social life, an engaging job and interesting hobbies. All these factors contribute to make a person happy. Studies have repeatedly shown that just being wealthy is not enough to keep you happy. Okay there is a certain level of wealth that you need to attain to be secure and fulfill your basic needs, but after that level, having more money never translates into being happier. After that level, other things become more important to individuals.

Then why do people think that money is happiness. It is due to a fundamental belief that you can buy anything with money. With money, yes you can buy luxuries and afford vacations but they cannot make you happy as long as you don't have a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle.

Money and Status

Another factor that makes people in the west materialistic is that social standings in the west are solely based upon how wealthy the person is. This leads to a frantic mania to get rich as quickly as you can. With money, it is assumed, you can have a social status, luxuries and an impressive personality. This is all an illusion. Money brings with it its own problems too. Studies have shown that often millionaires are more depressed that people who earn average wages. This might be due to added pressures of handling businesses for rich businessmen or handling the media for famous stars. This means that the millions in the banks do not contribute to make you happier. What is the point of such wealth?

Alternative to E-Cigarette

The number of people who smoke cigarettes in this world is an astonishing 1.1 billion. Some 15 million cigarettes are bought everyday and 5 trillion of them are manufactured and sold around the world every year. Considering the health hazards surrounding smoking, these are alarming statistics. Tobacco use accounts for nearly 30% of all cancer deaths and it is the cause of 87% of the lung cancer deaths in men and 70% in women. There is a need to look for alternatives to stop people from smoking cigarettes. There is an alternative to smoking that one can try, and this is described below.

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes as they are generally known, have stormed the market recently by claiming to offer a much safer smoking experience. The companies producing these e-cigarettes claim that they are not as harmful as cigarettes. They claim that as e-cigarettes supply nicotine in vapor forms as opposed to smoke, is safer because of no combustion. In this way, smoking e-cigarettes is a lot safer than smoking normal cigarettes.

This claim has been tested by many studies and results have shown that these claims cannot be regarded as true. E-cigarettes, as it is claimed, are as dangerous as cigarettes and are in no way safer because the nicotine is still being supplied from the tobacco.

It seems that anything that claims to be safe and yet imitates smoking is too good to be true. Smoking is bad for health and bad for the society generally and it has to be rooted out entirely. For this purpose, some techniques are in place for smokers who want to quit smoking.

Alternative

People looking to overcome smoking can look for medical advice. There is a treatment in place called Nicotine Replace Therapy (NRT) where nicotine nasal spray, nicotine inhaler and other medications are used to control the urge to smoke. A smoker is attracted to smoking not just by the drug but by the physical and mental urges to smoke. If the effect of the drug is recreated through medication, then the physical and mental addiction can somehow by controlled first. Once this is in check, then the smoker can slowly decrease the intake of nicotine to the point where it can be completely controlled and smoking can be quit as a habit.

The easiest way to not be a smoker is to not start it. Once you have got a taste for it, it's hard to resist. But still, there is hope for smokers. If they are determined to quit it, they can.

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