Scientists at Stanford have found that looking at pictures of loved ones can reduce pain. The study involved performing MRI scans on the brains of lovestruck students who were subjected to heat pain on their skin while focusing on photographs of their significant others. The results showed that the images have a calming effect and reduced pain by 36 to 44 percent on average.
Previous research has found that owning a pet can help us deal with pain. The thrust of these studies suggests that feeling love, whether for human or animal, helps us deal with pain better.
What if you’re not currently in love or have a pet? Other than interacting with the cats and dogs in your neighbourhood more, just remembering or imagining the feeling of love might be worth a go.