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10 Surprising Health Benefits of Love

Posted in Health, Love by Erineus on February 14, 2009

Lower Blood Pressure, Fewer Colds, Better Stress Management Are Just the Beginning

“I need somebody to love,” sang the Beatles, and they got it right. Love and health are intertwined in surprising ways. Humans are wired for connection, and when we cultivate good relationships, the rewards are immense. But we’re not necessarily talking about spine-tingling romance.

“There’s no evidence that the intense, passionate stage of a new romance is beneficial to health,” says Harry Reis, PhD, co-editor of the Encyclopedia of Human Relationships. “People who fall in love say it feels wonderful and agonizing at the same time.” All those ups and downs can be a source of stress.

It takes a calmer, more stable form of love to yield clear health benefits. “There is very nice evidence that people who participate in satisfying, long-term relationships fare better on a whole variety of health measures,” Reis tells WebMD.

Most of the research in this area centers on marriage, but Reis believes many of the perks extend to other close relationships — for example, with a partner, parent, or friend. The key is to “feel connected to other people, feel respected and valued by other people, and feel a sense of belonging,” he says. Here are 10 research-backed ways that love and health are linked:

1. Fewer Doctor’s Visits

The Health and Human Services Department reviewed a bounty of studies on marriage and health. One of the report’s most striking findings is that married people have fewer doctor’s visits and shorter average hospital stays.

“Nobody quite knows why loving relationships are good for health,” Reis says. “The best logic for this is that human beings have been crafted by evolution to live in closely knit social groups. When that is not happening, the biological systems … get overwhelmed.”

Another theory is that people in good relationships take better care of themselves. A spouse may keep you honest in your oral hygiene. A best friend could motivate you to eat more whole grains. Over time, these good habits translate to fewer illnesses.

2. Less Depression & Substance Abuse

According to the Health and Human Services report, getting married and staying married reduces depression in both men and women. This finding is not surprising, Reis says, because social isolation is clearly linked to higher rates of depression. What’s interesting is that marriage also contributes to a decline in heavy drinking and drug abuse, especially among young adults.

3. Lower Blood Pressure

A happy marriage is good for your blood pressure. That’s the conclusion of a study in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine. Researchers found happily married people had the best blood pressure, followed by singles. Unhappily married participants fared the worst.

Reis says this study illustrates a vital aspect of the way marriage affects health. “It’s marital quality and not the fact of marriage that makes a difference,” he tells WebMD. This supports the idea that other positive relationships can have similar benefits. In fact, singles with a strong social network also did well in the blood pressure study, though not as well as happily married people.

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By Sherry Rauh
WebMD FeatureLink: chttp://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/modern-love-8/health-benefits

What agape love is not

Posted in Love by Erineus on February 14, 2009

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:5

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he said that love is not rude. “Love does not behave itself unseemly” is the way the King James version puts it. This kind of love separates itself from the in-your-face rudeness often displayed today. We are living in a time when civility seems to take a back seat to brashness – in our speech, in advertising, in the way we treat each other.

Ask yourself, “How would I feel if I were on the receiving end of my humor or my comments?” Any act that makes another feel inferior, embarrassed or offended falls into the category of rudeness. Agape love shows the restraint that keeps you from hurting another, no matter how funny you think what you want to say is.

The seventh characteristic of agape love that Paul lists is that love is not self-seeking. One word summarizes this negative. It is selfishness, as opposed to generosity or being self-sacrificing.

The selflessness of agape love insists the other has the larger piece of steak, the last piece of chocolate and the softest side of the bed.

The eighth characteristic of agape love in this list of descriptions found in 1 Corinthians 13 is that love is not easily angered. Paul doesn’t say that agape love never yields to anger, because there is a time and a place for anger. Paul then says agape love keeps no record of wrongdoing. It thinks no evil. I never cease to be amazed at the instant recall some people have for the faults and failures of another. Agape love, says Paul, is forgetful. It forgives and forgets. It refuses to fight fire with fire. It returns wrongdoing with acts of kindness. It’s the kind that turns enemies into friends.

By Dr. Harold J. Sala
Updated February 08, 2009 12:00 AM

Picture: http://www.pyzam.com/funnypictures/details/3760?sort=popular&cat=love

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9 songs

Posted in Celebrations, Music, Rest and Liesure by Erineus on February 14, 2009

I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day, to be honest. And when it comes to music, the typical Pinoy tendency towards saccharine sentimentality somehow manages to get kicked up a notch (in Spinal Tap terms, it goes up to 11) during this season of pink candy hearts and overpriced flowers.

Luckily, an article by Edwin Sallan —entitled “Can’t Stand Losing You”—reminded me that there should be more to this day, music-wise, than the usual sappy crap. “With so much great music out there, do you really want to be humming along to the greatest hits of Michael Bolton and Celine Dion at this time every year?” he asks, before listing fourteen songs as “alternative soundtracks for Valentine’s Day.”

Here’s my alternative soundtrack for Valentine’s Day—nine songs, instead of fourteen. I’d like to claim it’s a play on the Michael Winterbottom movie of the same name, or a play on the year we’re in (nine songs for 2009), but really, it’s just because I’m frakkin’ lazy. Besides, I hated that movie.

1. Paper Moon. “What Are You Going To Do With Me?”

Not being a teenager any more, I should be immune to this song’s charms: the ostensibly shy but actually forward female persona, the giddy guitar lines and perky bloops and beeps, the sha-la-la’s, that does-he-or-doesn’t-he vibe of maybe-love that pop-rock can capture so well. Needless to say, it charms me anyway. And I love the line “I can give you a clue if you give me a try.”

2. Dinosaur Jr. “I Live For That Look.”

J Mascis sings like a wounded weasel and his lyrics kind of stumble all over themselves like drunks, but his awesome guitar growl and pop chops cannot be denied. He has never sounded more happy-hopeful than on this song, which I kind of assume is a love song (“Hey, I live for that look”), but as with any Dinosaur Jr. track, it’s a little hard to tell.

3. Bagetsafonik. “Clarity (Remix by N:ua).”

“I’ll be your guiding star.” A beautiful electronic reimagining of an already-strong song. Dreamlike yet sharp, touching but not cloying, I listened to this over and over last year and I’m still loving it. (You can get the whole Travel Agents remix album at http://qed.acid42.bluechronicles.net).

4. Colin Blunstone. “Say You Don’t Mind.”

A simple, sweet, strings-driven thing, from the solo career of a member of The Zombies. Sounds remarkably fresh, especially considering that it came out before I was even born. And that, you know, it was sung by a Zombie.

5. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. “(I’ll Love You) Till The End Of The World.”

“It was a miracle I even got outta Longwood alive,/ This town fulla men with big mouths and no guts,/ I mean, if you can just picture it,/ The whole third floor of the hotel gutted by the blast,/ And the street below showered in shards of broken glass,/ And all the drunks pourin’ outta the dance halls,/ Starin’ up at the smoke and the flames,/ And the blind pencil seller wavin’ his stick,/ Shoutin’ for his dog that lay dead on the side of the road.” It doesn’t sound like a love song, does it? It sounds like an apocalyptic freakout, is what it sounds like. But believe me, this is one of the most romantic numbers on this list, especially when Nick Cave hits the chorus with his deep dark gravedigger voice. Thank you, girl.

6. Aztec Camera. “The Gentle Kind.”

My love for Aztec Camera marks me forever as a child of the 80s. “Somewhere In My Heart,” horn-blasts and all, is the usual favorite, but I prefer this one, from the Stray album —a little quieter but no less catchy, with simple, sincere sentiments that have not diminished over the years. “Took my hand, said nothing much/ No lesson learned, just a gentle touch/ And I am coming round,/ I am coming round again.”

7. Pet Shop Boys. “Liberation.”

The Pet Shop Boys are sometimes depicted as clever smirking songsmiths dripping with irony —this is largely because unlike most pop stars, they are genuinely intelligent (and yes, they do sometimes slip into that scathingy satirical mode once in a while). But they’ve also crafted some of the most straightforward, quietly joyous, heart-melting songs ever —like this one.

8. Ciudad. “Until It’s Cool.”

Sad words, soaring tune. Ciudad may have “abandoned their happy-happy-joy-joy way of writing songs” (according to their MySpace), but they have become the masters of sugarcoating the bitterness of failed love. You’ll be singing along to the heartbreak.

9. Blue Sky Black Death + Jean Grae. “Away With Me.”

“We could be forever, see whatever we make bloom/ Just afraid I could be playing out a replay tune.” Sweetly hypnotic, sexy yet sincere: this song’s a real killer. And for anyone out there who might still retain any doubts about hip-hop being able to strike you straight in the heart, just get a load of this. Jean Grae gives it to you straight — hopes and fears, love and tears. And it doesn’t get more direct than “What’s best for me never seems to ever be what’s next to me/ Exception: you.”

Drop by Mag:Net Katipunan tonight, February 14, at 8:30 if you want to catch singing, piano-playing sensation Isha perform songs for “14 Lovers.” Send questions and comments to Luis atthekingofnothingtodo@yahoo.com.

Author: Luis katigbak