Our Biological Imperative to Give Love

When we stop giving love, we start dying

Tammy Bergstrom
3 min readMar 10, 2022


Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash

Reflecting on my 7-year massage career, it makes a ton of sense why I felt high at the end of every workday. Not only was I high on touch, I was also high on love… my own. Something that made this career so incredibly fulfilling was that it gave me an outlet to express all the love I’ve always had in me since I was young.

I remember getting a lot of joy from being my family’s massage therapist when I was growing up. I also loved giving gifts and giving hugs. It’s wired into our DNA to love others. When we are part of a community, our ability to give love and care to others is a valuable asset. Why? Because love is necessary for survival.

In fact, love is so necessary for survival that babies will die if they aren’t touched. And if they get a little affection, but not enough, it will severely stunt their growth. Bonding to caregivers is critical to feelings of safety and security. And feelings of safety and security are necessary for growth, healing, and connection to others.

In our culture that promotes self centered-ness, it’s easy to get in the mindset of wanting love to come to us. But from my experience, giving love is an even better feeling than getting love. Giving love makes us feel powerful because love is powerful and can have all kinds of positive effects on people and situations.

Loving others makes us feel powerful because it shows our psyche that we have enough love to give. Not only do we have enough for ourselves, we have so much we can give it away! Giving love makes us feel full. Love is a precious gift that doesn’t cost us anything to give away. A simple smile, a kind touch, a bag of food. Giving love is what we were made for.

Photo by Elissa Garcia on Unsplash

I had a day where I was in a serious funk. I was in a terrible mood all day so I finally decided to go out for a hike. On the way to the trail, I saw a man on the street corner holding a sign that said “anything helps”.

I remembered I had a whole bag of unopened trail mix in my backpack. Jackpot. Sanitary and delicious. “Do you like…



Tammy Bergstrom

Unique insights from a Yosemite Hiking Guide on personal, communal, and planetary health - and how they're all intimately connected