It turns out that love and sex may have important benefits in terms of creativity and problem-solving. Our brains process love and lust differently, and provide unique benefits to our thought processes, according to Helen Fisher, PhD, editor of the Web site sciencebasedmedicine.org. In an article titled, “Sex, Love, and Creativity,” she described a study in the Netherlands in which volunteers either focused on taking a walk with their ideal mate (loving feelings) or a casual sexual encounter with someone whom they did not love (sexual feelings). Both groups were given a battery of tests before and after to examine their creative and analytical abilities.
The study concluded that romantic, loving feelings stimulated “global processing” mechanisms in the brain, which improved creativity and increased long-term focus. Those who had sexual thoughts stimulated “local processing” mechanisms in the brain, which increased focus on the present and heightened their analytical thinking.
Possible reasons for these results: Romantic love can increase levels of dopamine, a neurochemical associated with creativity. Feelings of sexual desire may increase testosterone levels, known to promote analytical skills.
If you are looking for a creative or analytical solution to a challenge you are facing, turning to your mate may help in more ways than one. Fisher concludes that, ”Daydreaming about your sweetheart may boost inventiveness and help you come up with creative ideas, while sexual thoughts could help you solve an analytical puzzle.”
Do you find that romance helps boost your creativity, or that sex helps you problem solve? Perhaps it helps just to know that love and sex offer important benefits to our thinking and are worthy of our attention, even when—maybe especially when—life seems difficult or complicated.
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