This Valentine’s Day, commit to creating a heartfelt connection. Remember the chemistry when you were first in love? Depending on how we treat each other, these deep feelings can last a lifetime. Neural functions change when we’re more compassionate. And holding hands is enough to reduce stress. The possibilities for opening up our hearts are endless:
Express gratitude. Compliments can ignite loving feelings if you’ve been taking each other for granted. When you notice a caring gesture or a job well done, mention it. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you receive in return.
Pay attention. If you feel bored or stuck, discover new interests you both will enjoy. Plan a surprise weekend away or organize a well deserved vacation. Time together away from the daily routine can kick-start your relationship.
Inject humor. Lightheartedness is often the first casualty of a busy life. Make time for each other to keep the romance alive. Have fun and laugh a lot – playfulness can lead to greater intimacy.
Resolve conflict. Try to respect the differences that set you apart. Learn the art of compromise and meet halfway. Look for the qualities you love as you value peace of mind more than being right.
Stay engaged. When you’re having positive thoughts, say them out loud. And stimulating conversations often arouse curiosity. An affectionate moment – a gentle touch or a loving glance – can release oxytocin, a bonding hormone.
In the midst of hectic lives, we often operate on automatic. But you can lower tension and increase well-being as you take small steps. Just like any valuable asset, the emotional investment you make will be returned in multiples. Building a reservoir of goodwill can do wonders for you and your partner this Valentine’s Day and beyond.