We need to ask you to disengage from some of your most cherished notions about love: that it is exclusive, lasting, and unconditional. Love, as your body defines it, is not exclusive, not something to be reserved for your soul-mate, your inner circle, your kin, or your so-called loved ones. Love’s timescale is far shorter than we typically think. Love, as you’ll see, is not lasting. It is not even unconditional. But it is forever renewable.
Research pioneer Barbara Fredrickson has made a career out of studying positive emotions, and believes happiness is overdone and overrated. She’s more interested in what drives love, but not the romantic kind. In this groundbreaking book, Love 2.0, Fredrickson teaches us how our bodies extract life-giving nutrients from moments of love just like they extract oxygen from the air we breathe. She shares how we can cultivate mindsets of love to improve our mental, spiritual, and even physical health so that we live not only more fulfilling, but also healthier, longer lives.
Dr. Fredrickson has discovered that cardiac vagal tone, which is measured as the subtle variability in your heart rate associated with your breathing patterns, shapes – and is shaped by – your capacity for love. Vagal tone doesn’t just tell you about love; it also predicts what illnesses you will get and how long you will live. She gives us evidence-based tools to improve our vagal tone, including both informal ways to unlock more love in our lives, as well as more formal, practices like meditation. She shows us how to train our hearts and minds to be more accepting and generous, how to cultivate self-love, and how to generate compassion and closer connections with others through both good and bad times. Hers is some of the very first evidence on what happens to us physiologically when we practice loving-kindness meditation, which is very different than other meditation practices. And finally she shows how these strategies become a practical approach to reaching spiritual maturity.
Put simply, your body was designed for love, and to benefit from loving. Human bodies become healthier when repeatedly nourished by micro-moments of loving connection with others, with the result that human communities become more harmonious and loving. The unseen and heretofore unsung biology of love guides everything you feel, think, do, and become.
"In this book Barbara Fredrickson conveys a powerful new view of what we all want most deeply-love. Using rigorous science, practical exercises, and heartful daily life examples, Barbara shows us how to strengthen our capacity to more truly connect to ourselves and others. Love 2.0 moves the entire field of understanding and accessing love forward." --Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Happiness.
"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."--Daniel Goleman, author Emotional Intelligence
"Barbara Frederickson, a leader of 21st century positive psychology, enlarges our vision of love as moments of connected warmth. By merging the wisdom of spiritual meditative practices with laboratory science, she is our guide to deeper experiences of love and, as a by-product, to enhanced wisdom, resilience, and health."--David G. Myers, Ph.D. author Psychology, 10th Edition
“Read this book and you’ll never think about love in the same way again!”
—Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., author of The How of Happiness
“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 Frederickson offers expert guidance in this emerging field.”
—Frans de Waal, Ph.D., author of The Age of Empathy
“Barbara Fredrickson puts a new twist on love, illuminating how we can transform our lives by extending love to all of humanity - including ourselves. Based on solid research yet written in an easy-to-read manner, this book is full of practical exercises that can help the reader learn how to love more fully.”
—Kristin Neff, Ph.D., author of Self-Compassion
“A remarkable book on the supreme emotion called love, this beautiful volume captures the essence of love, in life, in science, between us, within us. Love has never been so well understood, so deeply expressed, as in the work of scientist Barbara Fredrickson.”—Joan Halifax, author of Being with Dying
“Love 2.0 wakes us up to new possibilities from everyday connections . Barbara Fredrickson transforms how we view love. She defines love as micromoments of mutual care that can happen between any two people. She carefully traces the significant impacts of moments of love in all aspects of our lives. She expands possibilities of how to put more love moments in our lives, helping each of us to unlock resources that generate health, well-being and happiness for ourselves and for others.”
—Jane Dutton, Ph.D., author of Energize your Workplace