Love and Mental Health

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

Love and mental health are intricately intertwined. Research has shown that being in loving relationships can have positive effects on mental wellbeing, including reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Additionally, practicing self-love and self-care can also have a positive impact on mental health. Conversely, the absence or obsession of love and unhealthy relationships can lead to increased stress and negative impacts on mental health.

Aristotle in his work “Nicomachean Ethics” describes love as a “virtue that involves finding the right balance between excess and deficiency [1]  “. In one of the most famous love novels “Romeo and Juliet”, Shakespeare describes love as “a smoke made with the fume of sights; being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes; a choking gall and a preserving sweet [2] ”. Another writer that gives us a definition of love is Leo Tolstoy, who writes in his novel “Anne Karenina”: “All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone [3] ”.  

According to the University of Utah [4] , there are four types of love:

  1. Eros: Erotic, passionate love
  2. Philia: Love of friends and equals
  3. Storge: Love of parents for children
  4. Agape: Love of mankind

Dr. Sean Davis, professor at the California School for Professional Psychology (CSPP) affirms, “Love can have this effect on your mind, of doing crazy, destructive things”. Dr. Richard N. Gevirtz, CSPP professor, San Diego campus, an expert in physiological patterning, explains the painful side effects of love and rejection,  “aside from the existential crises, disappointment, and compromise, being in love can also have some serious physiological effects [5] ”.

On the other hand, Healthline [6]  considers that love generates in us some positive effects as Euphoria, attachment and security, constant thoughts, less stress, boosted passion, improved physical health and pain relief; and negative effects such as  increased stress, physical symptoms of stress, sleep and appetite changes, poor judgment, love addiction, etc. 

According to Bridges to Recovery, some of the positive effects of love on mental health are: love and a healthy relationship makes you happy, being loved promotes self-worth, any kind of social support benefits mental health and treatment, a healthy relationship support healthy habits, and partners can be an active part of treatment [7] . In conclusion, we want to highlight the strong connection between love and mental health. Love has been shown to have a positive impact on our wellbeing, reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, while promoting feelings of happiness and fullfiment. But, when we do not control it, it can negatively affect our emotional wellbeing. Try to cultivate love in your life, both for your own wellbeing and for the wellbeing of those around you.









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