Mental Health

My Chemical Romance

MCRLust. Love. Long-term attraction. Each is triggered by different chemicals in the body. And the good news is that you can control yours and hers for maximum satisfaction, every step ofthe way

What is love? It's a good question. And whatever answer you've had in the past,it's unlikely to have been an especially enlightening one. So Men's Health has dissected the subject on the most biologically basic oflevels, so that - whatever phase of chemical attraction you are currently experiencing you can enhance your levels of enjoyment.
We've broken down the chemical basis of the emotion we call love and identified the hormones that spike, combine and plummet during each stage of a relationship cycle: from desire, through romance to lasting commitment. Why? Because love, as far as we're concerned, is one eternal equation that's worth solving.

Stage 1

Sexual desire is driven by high levels ofthe major male and female sex hormones in our systems. Here's howto ensure the honeymoon period is as intoxicating as possible, for as long as it can be

LUST is a vital part of our emotional wiring. Our sex drive is what keeps our species going and without it there'd be no biological reason for any of us to get out there and meet prospective partners. It's governed by a relationship between testosterone and oestrogen. Generally speaking, the more testosterone you and your partner have in your bodies, the more lustful you're going to feel towards each other. But it'sa complex system, and it is controlled by a whole range of other chemicals and factors.

"Athletes or men who exercise at a high level naturally produce more testosterone, which increases their strength and stamina and triggers more sexual thoughts, more morning erections, more sexual encounters and more orgasms," says Dr Helen fisher, a biological anthropologist and research professor in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University, New Jersey. "The male libido peaks in the early twenties, when the activity of testosterone is highest," she says. "Many women feel more sexual desire around the time of ovulation when her testosterone levels increase."

However, the balance between testosterone, oestrogen and other bodily systems - as well as social circumstances, childhood experiences and many other factors - play a role in determining when, where and how often you feel lustful.

New studies, such as those being carried out by Dr Sari van Anders at the University of Michigan, also suggest that testosterone might have a role to play in determining what kind of relationships we seek out.

Read more: How to Control Chemicals in the Body for Maximum Satisfaction

StressSTEP 1: Identify and conquer - Two of the most common roadbloks are guilt and perfectionism. If you're feeling guilty, Jennifer Wider, MD, women's health expert and author of The Savvy Woman Patient, suggests repeating this phrase to yourself daily: My sanity is essential for everything to run smoothly. This frequent reminder emphasizes that taking time to manage your stress isn't selfish, but actually vital for you and everyone else around you.

If you fall under the perfectionist umbrella-things need to be a certain way for you to feel comfortable and you're never able to destress because there's always something that needs to be done-it's probably a result of our culture. "There is an unspoken expectation that women should be able to do it all-have a job,be a wife and a mother-and do it well," says Dr.Gore-Felton.

Learning to relax your standards or relinquish some control is key to moving past this block. Try this to start: practice doing one thing differently than usual, no matter how small. Ask your husband to make the bed or forcr yourself to leave a few dishes in the sink overnight, says Dr. Gore-Felton. Since perfectionism is basically about not being flexible, changing the way you do one thing a few times a week will help you get to he point where you are able to let go and dial down your stress levels.

Another point to consider: "Data show that as our anxiety level goes up, our performance only increases to a certain point," says Dr. Domar. "After that, your
ability to juggle everything and get it done the way you want decreases." In other words, being under constant stress and not managing it will eventually backfire, no matter how brilliant a multitasker you are.
Read more: How to get over your destress obstacles once and for all

memory-boosttotal recall

Can't remember where you parked your car? Don't panic! Expert advice to keep your memory sharp.

Maybe you misplaced your keys again. Or you bumped into someone and couldn't match her face with a name. Is your memory going? When thoughts and information seem to vanish into thin air, it's natural to wonder if the next step is early-onset Alzheimer's. But we've queried the top memory experts and their message is simple: Relax.

"Memory isn't perfect even when it's working at 100 percent efficiency," says David Wolk, MD, assistant professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania's Penn Memory Center. That means glitches like these tend to be normal, and if you're in your 40s or 50s the chances of having a serious problem are rare. Less than 5 percent of people get Alzheimer's before age 65, and it's even more unlikely prior to 50. These little slip-ups aren't even necessarily indications that you're headed for trouble in your 70s or 80s. Read on to learn why some forgetting is normal and what you can do to keep your mind as strong as possible.
Read more: Boost Up Your Memory