In light of current biological research, it seems that the phrase "madly in love" is not merely a metaphor. There is ample evidence to suggest that falling in love is physiologically similar to mental illness. Disorders like OCD are associated with an imbalance of serotonin, and when studied, researchers discovered that both obsessives and lovers had serotonin levels 40% below normal. Hmmm.

So why is it that we often recover from the illness of love? Biologically speaking, the reasons romantic love fades may be found in the way our brains respond to the surge and pulse of dopamine that accompanies passions and gets us high. In the right proportions, dopamine creates intense energy, exhilaration, and focused attention, which is why, when you are newly in love, you can stay up all night, hike a mountain faster, and push the limits of your skills. Love makes you bold and bright and take risks you wouldn't normally take.

If this chemically altered state of love similar to mental illness were to continue, psychological damage could result. Never mind the practical implications: falling behind at work, not getting enough sleep, losing track of time... Seriously, though, this phase of love is not physiologically meant to last.

It does appear, however, that couples in happy long term relationships have moved from a dopamine-drenched state of romantic love to a quiet oxytocin-induced attachment. Oxytocin is the peptide hormone that promotes a feeling of bonding and connection and is released during breastfeeding, hugs, and orgasm. Physiologically speaking, couples that are successful in finding ways to stimulate oxytocin release in each other are more likely to happily stay together.

So, what can we do to stimulate the release of oxytocin, and thereby stay connected and happy with our partners?

1. Hug each other often!

2. Look at each other when you're talking or being intimate.

3. Go on adventures together, like visiting new places, riding roller coasters, exercising together, or skydiving.

4. Laugh together.

5. Give each other regular massages (any body part will do).

6. Whenever tension occurs, stop before it escalates into anger. Physically connect with one another (hold hands, hug, etc.), breathe together for a few minutes, then talk.

Author's Bio: 

Janis Ericson is regarded as a leader in the diverse field of holistic healing and is one of most highly respected trainers in personal development methodologies today. Janis's insights into the inner workings of both the human mind and the spiritual body create a unique approach to healing and self development. Her natural curiosity and penchant for results makes her an extremely effective and powerful catalyst for growth and transformation.

Through her fun and lighthearted style, she connects with her students, giving them a profound experience of the unlimited possibilities that exist through the magic of NLP. Her warmth, authenticity, and genuine compassion for life come across as Janis inspires her audience to make the world a more joyful place by becoming an example of that joy and the freedom it brings.

Janis began studying hypnosis at the age of 16, and by the age of 20 was certified as a Hypnotherapist. Since that time she has been dedicated to learning different healing modalities to add to her skills in helping people heal from depression, anxiety, abuse, disease, phobias, relationship difficulties, and learning disabilities. She has helped hundreds of people to discover the power of their minds and given them the tools to regain control of their lives.

As a trainer and speaker, Janis is engaging and profound. Her unique blend of deep spiritual philosophy and lighthearted fun is both thought-provoking and supremely enjoyable. She has the natural ability to make complex concepts simple, in language that is easy to understand and full of wisdom and experience. Janis has learned from some of the best trainers in the personal growth field, like Dr. Richard Bandler and John LaValle, and she brings their techniques together to form a cohesive and useful methodology.

In addition to being a Licensed Trainer of NLP, Janis is also a skilled Transpersonal Hypnotherapist, NLP Master Practitioner, Reiki Master, Interfaith Minister, Theta Healer, Health and Success Coach, Past Life Regression Specialist, and Spiritual Healer. When she's not teaching, she runs a successful practice in San Francisco, CA. Janis is a member of the Society of NLP, National Guild of Hypnotists, American Board of Hypnotherapy, the Association for Research and Enlightenment, Professional Board of Hypnotherapists, and National Association of Transpersonal Hypnotherapists.