The cosmetics and dietary industries incessantly bombard us with messages about how to look younger and enjoy a vibrant life and live a longer by procuring and utilizing their products. Marketers of novel dietary trends and latest fitness fads are constantly waving their products in front of us, urging us to take up the challenge to buy them and live longer. In our desperate attempt to lengthen our life expectancy some of us have succumbed to the pressure only to be told a few years down the road that some of those products were detrimental to health. However, researchers have recently stumbled upon a much safer and less expensive secret for longevity. It is called love. Science claims that being involved in a social relationship is a predictor of 50% longevity. However, most of the benefits of this virtue are dependent on our attitude toward those relationships. Most people are concerned about finding someone to love them. But this research posits that we draw the greatest benefits not in receiving love but in giving love. For example, volunteering to do good for others out of love without expecting any form of acknowledgment or reward was found to be positively associated with longevity in a research study by Konrath of University of Michigan. A later study by Hoge et. al (2013) demonstrated that generating thoughts of love toward others and thoughts of benevolence on regular basis reduces cellular aging (telomere length) considerably. Disseminating love in a manner that enriches the target of that love is linked to mental well-being and physical health. This can even speed up our recovery from illness because of its ability to buffer us from the ravages of stress, and to promote in us a positive outlook to life. Another benefit of loving others is that it strengthens our immune system. The genes that are impacted by our social relationships and love have been found to code for the functions of the immune system and inflammation.

The Bible instructs us to “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord,” (Leviticus 19:18).

Jesus reiterated this instruction when He said “The second [commandment] is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these,” (Mark 12:31).

Loving others is a win-win situation.

Read more about this in the book, The Perfect Prescription, by Reigh Simuzoshya on Amazon.com

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