Jesus taught 2000 years ago what research is confirming today:

Love is good for your health.

“Love your enemies” – because holding resentments and grudges can harden your spiritual heart and feed mind-body stress that complicates many physiological processes including blood pressure and digestion.

Research indicates that the positive states associated with love are good for your brain, your heart and your whole body.

promoting good health with Legend & Skye

It’s good for your brain because it increases your “happy chemicals”: endorphins, endogenous cannabinoids, endogenous morphine, dopamine, oxytocin, vasopressin and nitrous oxide.  These chemicals play a variety of roles in reducing stress signals, suppressing pain and balancing mood.

Love is good for your heart since it decreases anxiety and depression.

And it’s good for your body because it boosts immunity, decreases blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate and muscle tension.

Beyond sustaining positive energy in all systems of your body-mind-spirit self, love also induces and sustains the body’s self-healing capacities.

English poet, novelist and mystic Evelyn Underhill intuited this when she wrote in the early 20th century that “the redemption of the world in Christ defeats the evil infection by the health-giving power of love.”

I’ve discovered that love is an inside job. When I’m not in loving relationship with myself, the love I extend to others is inauthentic and unsustainable. Often, I’m my own worst enemy and the “enemy” I need to forgive is me.

When I do that, I open my heart and am able to genuinely receive and give love to others.

Daniel Landinsky tells the story of a young woman asking the Sufi poet Hafiz “What is the sign of someone who knows God?”  Hafiz replied, “My dear, they have dropped the knife, the have dropped the cruel knife they so often use upon their tender self and others.”

Whether you have a human “Valentine” or not, consider giving yourself some love today by forgiving whatever grudges, angers or resentments you’re holding.  Drop the knife. It will be good for your health.