When it comes to building our level of Emotional Fitness, KISSING is an essential workout not to be missed. Regardless of whether you are single or a in a relationship releasing oxytocin (the hormone of love) helps our heart remain open to love. The better our oxytocin levels, the more capacity we have for love. Psychotherapist Arthur Janov, Ph.D., author of The Biology of Love has researched and discovered that those who cannot commit in a love relationship are low in oxytocin.
One of my clients who is probably one of the most stunningly beautiful women I have every encountered in her 40s has been a long-term highly paid escort. She recently explained to me that she is having a great deal of trouble KISSING any lover in her private world. For such a long time she has adopted a policy of not ever KISSING her clients no matter how much they offer to pay her. Her reason is that she has witnessed over her years many other sex workers that do allow KISSING on the job becoming really emotionally “messed up.” This boundary of not KISSING helps her separate sex from love. However, this habit long term has created a neuropath way in her brain that now associates emotional detachment from sex, which I am now helping her repair with some Emotional Fitness exercises.
Many sexual-abuse survivors like myself also need to master removing any emotion from the act of sex in order to self-preserve. When I became clean and sober back in 1995 the act of KISSING without anesthetic was overwhelming. I was still an emotional virgin, yet to really allow my heart to bond to a man. Mr Delicious was my heart’s (and lips) first experience in total vulnerability and surrender. KISSING is an exercise in emotional bonding, sacred and powerful and all too often ignored, dismissed and forgotten.
Our lips are also densely packed with sensory neurons, which are stimulated by the touch of another’s lips. So the need to consistently KISS newborn babies is instinctual. The exercise of our lips connecting with someone we love’s skin prompts the release of sebum, which also plays an important role in human bonding, deepening a sense of safety. So if we have children no matter, if they are infants or adults, KISSING them helps keep our bond of love intact. It is so very important, even if it is just a soft little KISS on the back of the hand, it is a sacred gesture of a heart that cares.
So those of us interested in a life of lovin’ need to keep KISSING in our Emotional Fitness workout regime. I have done my time as a single woman with no lover beside me to share long, luscious kisses with, however, that is no excuse to delete KISSING from our heart’s Emotional Fitness exercise program. As my sons became much taller than me and morphed from boys to men, every time I see them I still ensure I KISS them on the cheek as we hug, and they do me too. It has become a ritual. KISSES from our adult children are a privilege not a right. We must earn a heartfelt gentle KISS, for they are so much more beautiful than a duty-bound peck.
If you don’t have enough KISSES in your day, ensuring we KISS those we love even on the cheek keeps our heart engaged and our oxytocin and sebum levels robust. KISSING our pets, our children, family and friends keeps our heart fit. I don’t find it surprising that the French and Europeans are often attributed as being great lovers; they KISS everyone they encounter in a day on the cheek. Sometimes not just once but up to three times a pop! The French keep their oxytocin and sebum levels high, every day. What a great workout!
However, when it comes to choosing lovers KISSING is biology’s way of determining whom in nature we are most genetically compatible with. When we reach the moment of the first KISS with a potential lover there are hard-wired mechanisms that assess health, reproductive status and genetic compatibility. Therefore, what happens during our first KISS can be a make-or-break proposition.
Some people often ask me why I call my husband Mr Delicious. It was a name I gave him after our first KISS back in 2003. I was 42 years of age, he was 47. It was the first time my heart has ever fully lit up, like a Christmas tree lights being turned on for the first time. His KISS bought tears to my eyes.
“That’s the most delicious KISS I have ever experienced. I’m going to call you Mr Delicious.” I am unapologetically romantic and my heart said it before my ego had a chance to edit my words.
“Well, I’ve been called a lot worse,” he smiled and responded.
If my heart is tired and I am feeling disconnected, his KISS can still bring tears of beautiful relief to my eyes today. That is how I knew he was who I had been looking for all my life. As the song goes …
“It’s in his KISS, that’s where it is”
Another little tidbit about swapping spit is that it increases another brain chemical, dopamine, which aids in feelings of romantic attachment.
So I just wanted to share a few little-known facts about the Emotional Fitness benefits when it comes to KISSES.
1. KISSING burns calories! It all depends on which reports you read, but on average anywhere from two to six calories a minute. OK, OK it is not quite the same as a half marathon, but an hour worth of smooching can burn off a scoop of gelati or a slice of pizza. It is worth considering.
2. For the addicts and alcoholics like me, you might find it interesting that KISSING activates the same areas in our brain linked to reward and addiction. However, unlike tequila and drugs, KISSING those we are in healthy, loving relationships offers those of us addicts recovering our self-respect a divine natural high.
3. KISSING does reduce our blood pressure. It helps to dilate our blood vessels, which may help us lower our blood pressure. So if you suffer migraines, cramps and frequent headaches, KISSING can relieve symptoms as the blood-vessel-dilation effect helps to relieve pain, particularly from headache or menstrual cramps.
4. What a great way to emotionally work out! A vigorous KISS helps us shape up our neck and jawline by working out a number of facial muscles. The best kinda natural facelift possible in my view. Plus, when we KISS, saliva production increases in our mouth, and this helps to wash away plaque on our teeth that may lead to cavities.
5. KISSING builds our emotional wealth we know, however, one study found that men and women who received a passionate kiss before they left for work earnt more money. This suggests the KISS (and perhaps the happy home-life it suggests) makes people happier, boosts self-esteem and, ultimately, more productive at work. Makes sense to me.
In a happy and healthy home environment KISSING is a safe, smile-inducing gesture that offers emotional comfort. Home is where our heart lives. Sometimes, when no-one else is at home for us, we need to show up for ourselves. So if we are on our own and need a KISS just lifting our own hand to our lips and gently gifting ourselves with a KISS of encouragement can work wonders.
May the KISS of kindness touch you often throughout your life ahead. Even if the KISS is not from anyone else, but from you to you. Sometimes our own gentle KISS of encouragement on the back of our own hand is far more powerful than anyone else’s.
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™
This Word Vitamin is an excerpt from my latest bookset “The Four Seasons of the Heart”. If you would like to order your own full set of Daily Word Vitamins one for each day of the year, in book form for yourself or as a gift just click on the SHOP tab and place your order.