A study looks at the chemistry of couples engaged in different activities.
- Leisure activities can help release more oxytocin, say researchers.
- Oxytocin is a hormone linked to social and sexual interaction.
- Couples who took art classes and played board games together released oxytocin.
It feels crazy good when someone is excited to see you. Give that gift to your family every day – but especially on Valentine's day.
- The research is sad but true: People are often more considerate to friends and strangers than they are to their partners.
- Gretchen Rubin's advice? When your partner walks in the door, show them as much affection as your dog does. Be excited to see them! Give a real hello and a real goodbye.
- Appreciate your partner: It's the easiest thing to do, and the easiest thing to forget.
Who you let into your mental space matters.
- Wanting to be a "nice person" often stops people from establishing the boundaries they need to protect their mental space from toxic people.
- For Shaka Senghor, self-pity and pessimism are two traits that turn relationships toxic. Consider that people may not know what they are doing: "[T]hey're just repeating the cycle of hurt people hurting people," says Senghor.
- It takes courage to confront a problem head on, but an honest conversation is often the best way for things to change – and if nothing improves, value yourself enough to walk away.
Need to reduce your stress? Try thinking of the face of your better half.
- A new study shows just thinking about your partner's face can lower stress.
- Those who pictured their significant other during a stress test had lower blood pressure increases than those who didn't.
- The results add to the pile of research that shows how great being in a relationship is for your health.
How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.
- Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
- Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
- As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
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