Love, Lust and other Emotions...

Love, Lust and other Emotions...

This article has been researched and written by Arelang Naturals® in-house writers.

Love, Lust & Other Bugs!

Unravelling the Mysteries of Love, Lust, and the Brain: 2024; A Valentine's Day Special

As Valentine's Day approaches, our hearts flutter with anticipation, and our minds are filled with thoughts of love, lust, and all the intricate emotions that accompany them. Or not. For some of us, Valentine's day is everyday. Everyday is a celebration of love and lust. Whichever side of the fence you are, have you ever wondered what truly lies beneath the surface of these powerful feelings?

Let us take you through this fascinating realm of emotions, brain chemistry, and the biological processes that shape our experiences of love and desire.

Love and lust are not merely abstract concepts; they are rooted in our neurobiology. Our brains serve as laboratories where complex chemical reactions give rise to these intense emotions. Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, vasopressin, testosterone, estrogen, and endorphins—these are the players making you feel love and lust. You know that feeling that you try to suppress? Guess what you are not overreacting. There is some serious hormonal mish-mash going on inside which is why you are feeling all the feelings.

The different feelings & the brain:

1. Attraction: When we encounter someone or something that catches our eye, a cascade of processes unfolds within our brains, shaping our perception and response - TRIGGERS! A cute puppy? Trigger! A cute girl? Trigger! A cute boy? Trigger! Chocolate? Trigger!

Initially, our senses capture various cues, from physical appearance to subtle gestures and shared interests. These stimuli travel to specialised regions of the brain where they are processed and evaluated. Dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, floods our brain, igniting feelings of excitement and anticipation. Meanwhile, regions responsible for decision-making and emotional regulation, such as the ventral tegmental area and the anterior cingulate cortex, spring into action, guiding our thoughts and actions. As the brain seamlessly integrates these inputs, it generates a subjective experience of attraction characterised by heightened attention, increased heart rate, and a sense of exhilaration, shaping the course of our relationships and fueling the timeless pursuit of love and companionship.

2. Lust: Lust, often portrayed as a primal and intense craving, is deeply rooted in the intricate workings of our brain's neural circuitry and hormonal balance. When we experience lust, ahem, the intense need to "get with someone," a surge of activity occurs in regions of the brain associated with reward processing and motivation, such as the nucleus accumbens and the ventral tegmental area. This heightened neural activation is accompanied by the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and noradrenaline, which give feelings of pleasure and arousal. The hypothalamus, a key regulator of hormonal balance, helps secrete testosterone and estrogen, which are crucial in driving libido and sexual desire. These hormonal fluctuations further amplify our physiological responses, manifesting as increased heart rate, dilation of blood vessels, and heightened sensitivity to sensory stimuli. From a scientific perspective, lust emerges as a dynamic interplay between neurochemical signalling, hormonal modulation, and sensory processing. It's not a surprise, that our most primal instincts are so rooted in science.

3. Love: The ever-elusive yet enchanting force that has perplexed philosophers and poets for centuries, finds its roots intertwined with our neurobiology and physiology. As we embark on the journey of love, a symphony of chemical reactions and neural processes starts taking place in our brains.

You know that dizzy feeling when you fall "head over heels" for someone? That may be our brain getting flooded with neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin, giving us all the emotions we know - pleasure, happiness, and profound connection.

So what hormones really are at play? Could knowing help us evaluate what we are really feeling? Let's see.

1. Dopamine: Dopamine is like the magic ingredient in our brains that makes us feel good. When we're falling for someone, dopamine levels skyrocket, giving us that butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling. It's the driving force behind our desire to be with that special someone, motivating us to chase after love with excitement and enthusiasm. It is released during pleasurable experiences, including romantic encounters. It's associated with feelings of reward, pleasure, and motivation, and plays a central role in the initial stages of attraction and infatuation.

2. Serotonin is like the calming presence in our brains that helps keep our moods stable. It's like the sunshine on a cloudy day, bringing feelings of happiness and contentment. When we're in love, serotonin plays a key role in making us feel good about our relationships. It's the quiet reassurance that everything is okay and that we're happy. Serotonin reminds us to appreciate the little moments of joy and connection, whether it's sharing a laugh or just enjoying each other's company. And it's not just about romantic relationships—serotonin also helps us feel more empathetic and connected to the people around us, deepening our bonds with friends and family. So, in a way, serotonin is the reason we feel happy, content and empathetic.

3. Oxytocin, or the "love hormone" or the "cuddle hormone," is like the warm embrace that envelops us during moments of intimacy. Know that feeling of a lingering kiss, or the 'heart eyes' you get when you cuddle with your partner, or the feeling as you bask in the afterglow of shared passion? Well that is oxytocin flooding your system, making you feel the connection and trust. It is the reason behind you feeling emotional intimacy. Beyond its role in physical intimacy, oxytocin helps make social bonds, fostering feelings of empathy and compassion in our interactions with others. In essence, oxytocin is the invisible thread that weaves the fabric of our relationships, binding us together in a tapestry of warmth, trust, and enduring affection.

4. Vasopressin, also known as the "bonding hormone," plays a crucial role in deepening our connections with loved ones. When we're in love, vasopressin helps cement our commitment to our partner. It works by strengthening the bonds between nerve cells in the brain, particularly in areas associated with emotions and memory. This hormone is like the glue that keeps our relationships strong, fostering feelings of loyalty and devotion. Essentially, vasopressin ensures that we stay connected to our partner in the long term, helping us build lasting and fulfilling relationships. Commitment phobes, time to check in on that vasopressin?

5. Testosterone & Estrogen: Testosterone and estrogen, known as the "sex hormones," play very big roles in love and lust. Testosterone, found in both men and women, boosts sexual desire and confidence. It drives the urge for physical closeness and romance. Estrogen, also in both genders, increases sensitivity and arousal. It makes touch feel more pleasurable and enhances emotional connections. Together, these hormones fuel both the physical passion and emotional intimacy we experience in relationships. In women, a decrease in estrogen levels, such as during menopause, can lead to decreased vaginal lubrication and reduced sensitivity in erogenous zones, making sexual arousal more challenging and potentially diminishing the enjoyment of physical intimacy. Additionally, lower estrogen levels may contribute to mood swings and irritability, affecting emotional well-being and potentially straining romantic relationships. To avoid these, natural, powerful plant-based supplements like Rekindle For Women can help. These have phytoestrogenic ingredients that mimic estrogenic effects in the body.

Similarly, in men, a decline in testosterone levels, often associated with ageing, can result in reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, and decreased energy levels, all of which can diminish both sexual desire and the ability to engage in intimate activities with a partner. Moreover, lower testosterone levels may also lead to feelings of fatigue, depression, and decreased self-confidence, which can further impact romantic connections and emotional intimacy. Supplements like Rekindle For Men with natural plant based ingredients can help boost natural testosterone production in the body.

6. Endorphins, often referred to as the body's natural painkillers, also play a significant role in love and lust. When we experience pleasure, whether it's from physical intimacy or emotional connection, our brains release endorphins, which create feelings of happiness and well-being. During moments of love and lust, the release of endorphins enhances the intensity of our experiences, making them feel more pleasurable and rewarding. This neurochemical response reinforces our desire for intimacy and strengthens the emotional bonds we share with our partners.

The science behind this lies in the brain's opioid system. When we engage in activities that bring us pleasure, such as kissing, hugging, or sexual intercourse, the brain releases endorphins to reduce pain and increase feelings of euphoria. This release of endorphins creates a positive feedback loop, reinforcing the behaviours that lead to pleasure and intimacy.

Why then is hormonal balance necessary to feel love and lust?

Hormonal imbalance in the brain can significantly affect our experiences of love and lust, leading to challenges in both emotional and physical intimacy. As you can see, the feelings of love, lust, attraction and desire are all dependent on a complex interplay of various hormones. When our hormones, such as dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and testosterone, are out of balance, it can result in mood swings, decreased libido, and difficulties in forming and maintaining romantic connections. To combat hormonal imbalance, it's essential to prioritise holistic self-care practices. This includes adopting a healthy lifestyle that encompasses regular exercise, balanced nutrition, quality sleep, stress management techniques, and social connection. Regular physical activity can help regulate hormone levels and boost mood, while a nutritious diet rich in vitamins and minerals supports overall hormonal health. Additionally, practising mindfulness and relaxation techniques can help reduce stress and promote emotional well-being, enhancing our capacity for intimacy and connection with our partners.

However, like always, it is important for us to stress on the fact that food today isn't the powerhouse it once used to be. It does not give us all that we need to help keep our hormones in check. Therefore it is essential to supplement, with natural, plant-based, supplements like Rekindle For Men & Women and Replenish With Greens & Phytos. Here is how they help:

1. Rekindle For Men: These delicious sugar free dark chocolates are made from all-natural and potent plant-based ingredients like Ashwagandha, Safed Musli, Ginseng and many more that help boost natural testosterone production in the body, supports immune system, increases energy & stamina and elevate mood and feel all the love!

2. Rekindle For Women: Rekindle for Women is a blend of powerful phytoestrogens and potent, plant-based ingredients like Shatavari, Flaxseed, Saffron and many others meant to give women’s bodies essential nutrients in small doses every day, to help boost and balance natural estrogen production. Suited for women of menstruating ages, helps with menstrual discomforts, regulating menstrual cycles and reducing hot flashes and mood swings. These are powerful chocolates that will make you feel all the love.

On this Valentine's Day, let's prioritise our wellness by making healthy choices that promote brain health and overall well-being.

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