Where the Science of Psychology Meets the Art of Being Human

The Surprising Effect of Thinking About The One You Love


The Surprising Effect of Thinking About the One You Love

Thinking about the special someone in your life (them – not the way they forgot your birthday, which happens to be on the same day as Christmas – same as it has been for the the last 7 years they’ve known you) has been found to increase energy.

Thinking about romantic love triggers a physical response that is associated with arousal or passion. One element of this physical response is the release of cortisol into the body. When this happens, there can also be simultaneous rush of glucose (blood sugar).

Researchers explored whether this rush of glucose would also trigger an increase in physical energy.

Participants in a recent study were asked to reflect deeply on their current romantic partner, an opposite-sex friend, or their morning routine.

Blood glucose levels were measured before and after the exercise. To make sure any change in glucose levels were related to positive rather than negative emotions, participants were also asked to complete a mood measure after the reflection exercise.

Results revealed that people who had reflected on their morning routine or an opposite-sex friend showed a decline in glucose over time.

Those who thought about their romantic partner showed a slight increase in glucose over time. This increase was associated with positive emotions, suggesting that the physiological response triggered by thinking about a romantic partner is related to eustress – a positive, energising version of the stress response.

It’s likely that thoughts of the one you love come and go at least fleetingly during the day. With this research in mind, taking the time to think about him or her in a conscious, reflective, deliberate way will improve mood and bring with it an energy boost.

Good for you. Good for them. Good for the relationship. 

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