What Falling in Love Does to Your Brain
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What Falling in Love Does to Your Brain

What Falling in Love Does to Your Brain

Passion, elation, obsession, euphoria — the heady emotions we associate with falling head over heels are initiated not in the heart, but in the brain. Falling in love is a mind-body experience, from sweaty palms and a racing heart to the rush of emotions that leave the victims of Cupid’s arrow feeling intoxicated. And research has found that our brains benefit both from the heady throes of falling into new love and the steady glow of longtime love.

If being in love sounds stressful, there’s a good reason, says Richard S. Schwartz, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. The physiological responses are triggered by the release of cortisol, the hormone famous for the body’s flight-or-fight reaction, which fuels both passion and anxiety.

At the same time, some brain chemicals dip. “Surprisingly, serotonin goes down in the early stages of love,” Schwartz says. “That’s usually associated with a kind of discontent. It can cause an obsessional preoccupation with the one you love and not being able to get that person out of your mind.”

Yet levels of other feel-good neurotransmitters rise. In fact, imaging studies of the brain show that when people are in love, looking at pictures of their beloved lights up the dopamine-rich pleasure and reward centers of the brain.

There’s a good reason that love acts like an addictive drug on the brain. “In evolutionary terms, the reward system keeps us going as a species,” Schwartz explains. “It fuels attachment for procreation.”

When: FEBRUARY 27, 2022 - MARCH 25, 2022
Where: 2200 W Alameda Dr Tempe, AZ 85282
What: Angels Spring Training Games
Experience all the fun and excitement that comes with spring training in Tempe, AZ. Tempe is the perfect home base to enjoy spring training baseball. From the end of February through the end of March, Cactus League Spring Training brings 15 MLB teams to 10 stadiums to play more than 200 games. The Los Angeles Angels call Tempe, Arizona home as they play teams such as the Cubs, the Brewers, the Rockies and the Giants during Cactus League Spring Training. Tempe Diablo Stadium is conveniently located at Interstate 10 & Broadway. Seats for games vary in price, with lawn seats as the least expensive option. With several games a day during Cactus League, you can catch your favorite team and players in action. Please note that Major League Baseball and the Players Association have not finalized an agreement, which may cause a delay of the start of the spring training season. Please refer to Major League Baseball for updates prior to planning a spring training trip.