“Love 2.0” By Barbara Fredrickson: Micro-Moments of Connection

The new take on love that I want to share with you is this: Love blossoms virtually anytime two or more people — even strangers — connect over a shared positive emotion, be it mild or strong. (Love 2.0)

In time for Valentine’s Day, Barbara Fredrickson, the author of the above quote, has a new book,  Love 2.0: How Our Supreme Emotion Affects Everything We Feel, Think, Do, and Become. From its official description:

Using research from her own lab, Fredrickson redefines love not as a stable behemoth, but as micro-moments of connection between people—even strangers. She demonstrates that our capacity for experiencing love can be measured and strengthened in ways that improve our health and longevity. Finally, she introduces us to informal and formal practices to unlock love in our lives, generate compassion, and even self-soothe.

Fredrickson, a psychology prof, heads up the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Love isn’t necessarily all those gooey and long-lasting things you think it is, she’ll tell you. It’s actually a “micro-moment of positivity resonance.” Her book’s website, in fact, is http://www.positivityresonance.com/. More love explanation from Fredrickson:

Love is a momentary upwelling of three tightly interwoven events: first, a sharing of one or more positive emotions between you and another; second, a synchrony between your and the other person’s biochemistry and behaviors; and third, a reflected motive to invest in each other’s well-being that brings mutual care.

On CNN online, Fredrickson lists 10 lessons she learned while working on this book. Visit the article for more details:

1. It can be hard to talk about love in scientific terms because people have strong pre-existing ideas about it.

2. Love is not exclusive.

3. Love doesn’t belong to one person.

4. Making eye contact is a key gateway for love.

5. Love fortifies the connection between your brain and your heart, making you healthier.

6. Your immune cells reflect your past experiences of love.

7. Small emotional moments can have disproportionately large biological effects.

8. Don’t take a loving marriage for granted.

9. Love and compassion can be one and the same.

10. Simply upgrading your view of love changes your capacity for it.

Physical closeness and frequency of micro-connections make a positive difference, while certain emotional conditions can get in the way:

People who suffer from anxiety, depression, or even loneliness or low self-esteem perceive threats far more often than circumstances warrant. Sadly, this overalert state thwarts both positivity and positivity resonance. Feeling unsafe, then, is the first obstacle to love.

Selected Reviews

Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence: “Barbara Fredrickson drives home the value of being warmhearted, making the scientific case that this variety of positivity benefits our health and our connections, as well as opening our lives to new possibilities. Love 2.0 is a user-friendly manual for opening our hearts.”

Frans De Waal, Ph.D, author of The Age of Empathy: “At last we can discuss the science of love. We can discuss the hormones involved, the way positive emotions can be strengthened, the relation between self-love and loving others. In this highly readable book, Barbara Fredrickson offers expert guidance in this emerging field.”

Jill Suttie, Greater Good: “Fredrickson is, above all, a researcher. She assures her readers that what she is suggesting is ‘evidence-based’ and is meant to increase loving feelings from the inside out, not to make people put on fake smiles or pretend to feel something they don’t. It’s this promise—and the science behind it—that makes Love 2.0 rise above other self help books.”

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