We’ve all heard the term “Love is in the Air,” but can love really be in the eyes? Actually, science has proven it so! Certain chemicals (or endorphins) that produce the emotion of love can be emitted through emotions expressed in the eyes. There are physiological changes in the eyes that occur when love is expressed between two individuals. Two people in love, love shown towards a family member, child, or even a pet all cause the same response: the pupil (the black part in the center of the eye) dilates.
The size of the pupil can be an indication of emotional responses and messages. The autonomic nervous system (our fight or flight response), causes the pupil to have a quick dilating response. The ANS is also in charge of heart rate and perspiration, and when a person is extremely interested in another person, the pupil has a dilating effect that is slightly less than the pupillary light reflex. This bounce in size is an automated response that gives scientists indication of mood or interest (or love) shown to another person.
Mounting scientific evidence also shows the benefit of looking into the eyes of your pet, especially dogs. Petting them causes you to become more healthy on all fronts, and a few minutes a day of lovingly looking at a dog releases serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin which are “feel good” hormones.
Overall health is improved and years can be added to your life when looking at something or someone with love. Your eyes and autonomic nervous system play an intricate role in the expression of love. Prolonged eye contact has been thought to release phenylethylamine, a chemical responsible for feelings of attraction. It has also been thought to release oxytocin, the love chemical most closely associated with longer term bonding and commitment.
They say the “eyes are the windows to the soul,” but turns out they are also the windows to the heart. There have been many studies on how nonverbal cues from the eyes affect our behavior towards one another. When it comes to finding love, apparently how you communicate with your eyes can make all the difference.
Show your loved ones you care about them by encouraging to have an eye exam at least once a year! Early detection of vision problems are crucial to treating them effectively, and any sudden changes in vision or difficulty seeing is a warning that a comprehensive eye exam is needed. Click here to request an appointment and keep those you care about healthy and safe!