Research into neuroplasticity is an ever fascinating subject. From this study, we know that the brain is constantly undergoing structural and functional alterations due to the influence of life and our perceived experiences.
When it comes to stress, which seems to be escalating in many people’s lives, I would suggest that the creation of loving bonds with one person or a group assures the mind that when we are threatened, there will be someone to toss us a life preserver. This became more apparent to me as I just moved out of state and left valued friends behind, logistically that is. On the Richter Scale of stressful situations, moving comes out as number 3, after a divorce or the death of someone close. Although it was entirely my choice to make the move, I still felt a palpable rift from the people I had created great bonds of friendship with. I was reminded of the epic, hit song by Tina Turner, “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” I would suggest – Everything!
The emotional closeness we feel with people we value frees us from the need to observe our lives thru filters of fear because we know we will be supported unconditionally. I would imagine people who are disconnected from social relationships and community, on the one hand, perceive they are alone and adrift on an ocean where no one ever comes to their rescue. I would imagine the right frontal lobes of their brain look entirely different than those of people who feel love and affection and are able to give love.