Love’s a painkiller, new study confirms

“One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life. That word is love.” It’s been more than 2,500 years since the Greek playwright Sophocles wrote those words, but scientists have now proved that being in love can actually reduce pain. And they’ve also shown why. Love may tap into some of our oldest brain pathways, making us feel so euphoric that we ignore pain, according to a recent study at Stanford University and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. The scientists found that students in love felt less pain while staring at a picture of their significant others. In addition, love acted through the same brain pathway as several strong painkillers and addictive drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Studying the effect of love on these pathways might not only tell us more about love itself but could also help us find ways to treat both pain and addiction.

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