Hey! Next time you have a headache, don't reach for an Advil—instead, fall passionately in love with a person of your choosing. You see, scientists have found that love can act as a fairly powerful painkiller. Like morphine!
No, literally, like morphine: Study subjects who were shown pictures of their partners while hooked up to an MRI (science for "brain machine") showed "activity in parts of the brain that are also triggered by morphine and cocaine." Even cooler, looking at those pictures could reduce moderate pain by 45 percent and intense pain by 12 percent. (Pictures of your hot friends have just a "mild analgesic effect.")
Another thing that can help reduce pain is distraction—the same study found that simple mental tasks could make pain less painful. The difference is that distraction works on "higher, cortical parts of the brain," while love basically just works like a needle full of heroin right into a vein. (This is why we prefer having significant others to doing simple mental tasks when it comes to blunting the pain of everyday existence. Though mostly, we do both.)
[Guardian; image via Shutterstock]