Valentine's Day, for many, represents a special day of showing love and appreciation to that special someone. The commercialization of this day of love has caused some to experience feelings of anxiety and panic when it comes down to finding that perfect gift. Those who stress about living up to the standard of what Valentine's Day is supposed to be may feel pressured. Relationships may go through their ups and downs but are a source of happiness in the lives of many.
Consumer insight reports show that Google searches increased 35 percent per year and people begin searching for what to buy two days earlier than last year. In the United States last year, more than $15 billion dollars in retail sales were spent on Valentine's Day gifts. Purchases included the traditional gifts of candy, clothing, dining out, flowers, greeting cards and jewelry. According to psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, modern love as we know it today is not all about romance, candy hearts and red roses.
In her new book, "Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become," Fredrickson presents an alternative point of view, with scientific evidence. She defines love as "micro-moments" of positive emotion, extraordinary good feelings that alter your mind. She suggests that people experience love in their daily lives in many ways.
"On your morning jog, you smile and nod to greet fellow runners and silently wish them a good day," said Fredrickson in her book, for example.
She references love, emphasizing t is as a "momentary state that arises to infuse your mind and body alike." She goes on to describe love as "the ephemeral and precious openness you feel well up in your chest, not a rock-solid ring made of precious metal on your left hand."
For those who are single and searching to find happiness through love, if they change their perspective they may see a beacon of hope. With an open mind, they may be able to understand that love is experienced every day in the form of positive emotions. According to Frederickson, love contributes to one's overall well-being in relationships, character, health and spiritual growth.