Feel the Love – and Improve Your Life!

It’s hard to miss, as we are reminded in every pharmacy, grocery store, and department store since practically the day after Christmas, this is the week of red and pink greeting cards, giant bunches of long-stemmed roses, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and heart-shaped candy boxes. It’s hard to ignore the $20 billion spending spree that is Valentine’s Day. Commercialized assault aside, this week might also be the ideal time to consider how real love means real benefits to your health. And we’re not just talking about the romantic kind of love. Compassionate, trusting relationships with friends and family members bring health perks as well.

According to WebMD, scientific evidence backs 10 specific benefits derived from loving relationships:

  1. Fewer doctor visits
  2. Less depression and instances of substance abuse
  3. Lower blood pressure
  4. Less anxiety
  5. Natural pain relief
  6. Stress management
  7. Fewer illnesses
  8. Faster healing
  9. Longer life
  10. Happier life

One way to foster more love — and therefore better health — in your life is by practicing loving-kindness meditation. Designed to cultivate selfless compassion, loving-kindness meditation can be practiced in as little as a few minutes a day.

Although it may take different formats, generally loving-kindness meditation guides the practitioner down a path that encourages positive feelings toward the self, a loved one, someone with whom the meditator may have difficulties, and finally, all living beings.

So this week, as you wind your way through aisles and piles of Valentine’s Day goods, remember that one of the best ways you can show the love is by improving your own capacity to feel it. It will do both your relationships and your overall wellbeing a world of good.

Find out more about loving-kindness practices and other meditation techniques by contacting one of our SimplaFYI Community Practitioners.