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The Love/Intimacy Crisis The frail elders in our society are in a crisis: Most of them have lost their mates and no longer live with their children or grand children. Touch, love and happiness is what causes us to release enough endorphins to keep us healthy. In our haste to be efficient, we have taken much of the fun out of life. We do not laugh or touch enough to release endorphins. We need them, and we need them not just so our brains feel good, but to help balance the periods of time when we are alone or life is cruel The lack of endorphins is a big part to why we succumb to little things. We must realize that having enough endorphins is not a choice. It is a necessity. Not only do endorphins help our brains feel well by improving our sense of intimacy, endorphins help our brains be satisfy with less. In essence, endorphins help keep our dimmer knob functioning so that the light in the limbic area is properly lit. We must learn to laugh, touch, meditate, exercise, and develop intimate relationships. Intimacy Defined Intimacy is the ability to see others' needs and concerns as being as important as your own, and the willingness to share your innermost feelings with them. The brain's ultimate goal is intimacy. Intimacy is the ultimate form of safety. The brain not only needs it, it demands it. This actually makes biological sense. The more intimacy we have, the more likely it is that we will be safe and protected. Our brain has been programmed to keep us alive, and intimacy is the ultimate form of protection. If we do not have it, our brain will try to keep us alive by encouraging us to eat, to rely on medicine to hide or just to withdraw and isolate ourselfs. In other words, without intimacy, our biological impulse switch will malfunction. Our brain likes endorphins, so if we don't produce them because we lack a good social life, have no pets, do not have good sex, do not volunteer, do not listen to music, or enjoy the arts, we may well seek comfort in medicume or withdraw from life. This is a very exciting concept. When ask the question, "Do you have intimacy?" it is really about your endorphin level. If your levels are low, then you need love affection touch and an understanding you are safe How Intimacy Develops Endorphins are released in our brains in response to happy, intimate social experiences, such as a mother warmly holding her newborn baby. As the baby develops, the released endorphins teach him how to seek out intimacy. It is this development that helps lead to effective socialization. Our elders have little intimacy in many of their lives. The stress of losing your freedoms, your friends and becoming dependent on others all contributed to our lower levels of intimacy. Since intimacy releases endorphins, their levels are low. This decreases the performance of the dimmer knob, which subsequently affects the craving switch. When the switch malfunctions, we tend to over medicate and isolate. The cycle repeats itself, and we progressively become sicker isolated and grumpy. However, when we use the definition of intimacy to include sharing one's deepest feelings with others, and listening to and caring about others' feelings and concerns, to touch and hug it becomes easier to understand. There are many forms of intimacy. Touching with warmth and care, sitting attentively and listening, watching with attention rather than multitasking with the TV on, all define intimacy. Walking under a moonlit sky without distractions with your partner, friend, or favorite pet helps make us feel intimate. Sitting in front of a fireplace with soft music and candlelight does. Laughing, praying, singing, volunteering, exercising, congregating together, and enjoying the company of pets can all improve intimacy. Each of these increases endorphins. We do not have to have all of them, but we should seek out some of these activities, if we want our dimmer knob to function normally. As you increase your intimacy/love, you will feel better, be less isolated and have the added bonus of spending less time in medical situations. If we or our elders are deprived of endorphins how does it affect their entire being? Let’s give love freely especially to those that are in the most need. It will cost us nothing and improve our own well being since you cannot give love without receiving it back