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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Guest blog--Dick Ivey--Are Women More Adaptable Than Men?

If my wife is any barometer on adaptability, women are definitely more adaptable than men. They also tend to listen better than men, are able to articulate their feelings better than men, and better able to exhibit a servant's heart in relationships. In the hundreds of couples we have coached over the years, women score significantly higher more often on "change" in their lives than men.

I love the way The Gorgeous Redhead models adaptability with such grace and tenderness that I am often shamed by my reticence to adapt and change and grow with her. I am a better man, by far, because of the gentle leadership she brings to our family in working together to adapt to the world as it is and to work diligently to make it the world we want it to be.

God bless women everywhere who have this gift naturally and those who cultivate it. May your tribe increase.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Science Supports the Value of Soul Mate Love

Monogamy Is Natural But Not Always Easy

Both sexes have the brain circuitry for deep attachment to a mate, but it isn't always easy. We live in a world full of opportunities to send messages to the amygdala in our brains that will release the pleasure hormones that lead us to temptation. Mindful choices can lead to positive behavior.

Live Longer in Good Health

Monogamous marriage may be the answer to good health and happiness. According to the CDC, the married are less likely to smoke and drink heavily than people who are single, divorced, or widowed. They have reduced levels of sexually transmitted disease and lower rates of suicide.

Brain Scans Validate Soul Mate Status

Similar to the brain scans of those newly in love the soul mate scans show low activity in the areas of the brain where serotonin is produced. The difference for those still romantically in love after many years show activation in serotonin and opiad rich areas associated with elevated calmness and pleasure. "They are in the secure phase of love," explains researcher, Bianca Acevedo of Cornell Medical College. "They still desire one another, they're engaged, they experience the intensity--but not the anxiety."
So there you have it. Brain study proof that couples, indeed, can learn to become soul mates!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Science of Love

Brain Research Gives Interesting Results

In our rapidly changing world more and more brain research has come up with knowledge about overeating, psychological problems, addictions, and much more. The Valentine's Day issue of Parade featured an article on "The Science of Love" by Judith Newman. Researchers using MRI's study brain activity for everything from diagnosing ADHD to the interplay of hormones and neurotransmitters experienced by couples who "fall in love".

Brain Activity Related to Love

Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, is central to the brain's reward circuitry. Norepinephrine, a stimulant related to dopamine can give energy, sleeplessness, elation, loss of appetite, butterflies in the stomach. Serotonin, a neurochemical that creates feelings of calm, is present in lower levels in those newly in love. There is a relationship between love and anxiety and fear. In 2004, researchers from Italy's University of Pisa released a study that measured hormonal activity in 24 young people who reported having recently fallen in love. They had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol than their workaday counterparts.

What Does Brain Research Mean for You?

Does the science of love mean we have no control over how we love? I don't think so. It helps us understand how wonderfully we are created. Mindfulness can be a key to understanding how to love in positive ways. We can control what messages we send our brains. We can value and nurture trust which promotes greater activation in serotonin and opiad-rich areas associated with elevated calmness and leisure. That is what becoming soul mates is all about.