“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; It has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new”

Ursula K Le Guin

“Love is our supreme emotion that makes us come most fully alive and feel most fully human. It is perhaps the most essential emotional experience for thriving and health.”

How can we create such moments? Our behaviors and actions need to be cultivated, to enable our relationships to flourish. Love is an essential nutrient that alters our biochemicals and even affects our DNA expression. It nourishes our body in a similar way that sun, nutrients, and water nourish plants to flourish. It creates an environment within which flourishing becomes possible.

Frederickson in her book Love 2:0, says that, “Love is the momentary upwelling of three tightly interwoven events”. These are: a sharing of one or more positive emotions between people; a synchrony of biochemistry and behaviour and a reflective motive to invest in one another’s well-being, resulting in mutual care. In other words, love requires shared positive emotions, tuning in to each other with an intention of goodwill.

On a biological level the Vagus Nerve is engaged in the production of Oxytocin, relaxing the nervous system, and producing a synchronicity of brain resonance between two people. This creates moments of brain-coupling and a shared emotional state. If you have ever felt that a person really “got” you or was “in tune” with you, this will be what you were noticing.

Relationships need cultivating and tending. As Brené Brown writes, “Love requires tenacity and grit. It’s work. It’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. So when people say, “Love shouldn’t be this hard,” I think, Why not? We get so much from our most important relationships—it makes sense that we have to invest a lot of time, effort, and some serious self-reflection into them.”

Love opens us up to become wiser, more attuned, resilient, and effective, happier, and healthier. We then grow spiritually and can see, feel, and appreciate the deep interconnections that bond us to each other. We begin to feel relaxed, warm, and open-hearted.  We want to move closer, to listen and observe the other more carefully and be attuned. We begin to yearn for the good fortunes of others, wishing them well with great sincerity, wanting to show them we care.

Fredrickson states that love is not unconditional. There are prerequisites for love to burst forth in micro moments:

  1. Safety  – this helps us to be open to give and receive from each other.  Those with anxiety, depression,  loneliness or low self-esteem, perceive threats more easily and this hyper-vigilant state thwarts both positivity and positivity resonance. Feeling unsafe, then, is an obstacle to love.
  2. Connection – sensory and temporal connection with another living being – most significantly, eye contact.
  3. Biological synchrony – shared positive emotion.
  4. Intentional mutual care, concern and kindness.
  5. Time – slowing down and savoring the moment

The following four nonverbal cues create an embodied sense of rapport

  • Smiling with eyes crinkling
  • Open and friendly hand gestures
  • Leaning toward each other
  • Nodding, a sign that indicates affirmation and acceptance of each other

Exercise

Micro-moment practice: Create three loving connections. Seek out three opportunities to connect with others with openness, warmth, respect, and goodwill. Offer your attention, creating a sense of safety through eye contact and conversation.

Another way to practice positivity resonance is to do a Loving Kindness Meditation. In order, to do this, it is important to practice focusing on the positive emotion in yourself, expand it, experience it in your body and then direct it to others. This technique requires practice.

Follow the link below to be guided by Barbara Fredrickson through a Loving Kindness Meditation.

https://www.coursera.org/lecture/positive-psychology/loving-kindness-meditation-VQE3L

The link below is a short video made for children but offers an opportunity to experience a Loving Kindness Meditation, yourself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRwQrzogy-g

As you can see, there is much we can do to create love – Positivity Resonance. We no longer need to wait for these moments to spontaneously occur.

We hope that you will take the opportunity to bring these principals into practice in your life, so that you will maintain positive connections with others and be part of creating a more positive world for all.

“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; It has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new”