Oxytocin: The Love Hormone | Why We Need It | How We Can Get It
Did you know that a twenty-second hug releases the love hormone and neurotransmitter, oxytocin which is nature’s antidepressant and anti-anxiety?
Oxytocin releases ‘happy’ chemicals that make people more trusting, generous, and loving towards others, even strangers.
Oxytocin is a protein-like molecule that your brain cells use to communicate with each other. This hormone is what makes us feel and is a crucial ingredient in forming the elements that make us human.
Oxytocin plays an important role in sex, childbirth, emotional and social interactions with others. Even though this hormone is produced naturally, oxytocin can be manufactured synthetically to be used in a more therapeutic climate.
Even though oxytocin helps in relieving stress and anxiety, it can have negative effects on memory and concentration. This hormone can also relieve pain in people with chronic illness, social phobia, autism, and postpartum depression.
Oxytocin is complicated and its effects are not all positive. It is possible that oxytocin can impair memory. You must be thinking ‘Does this mean that oxytocin makes us more forgetful?’ It all depends on the attachment style of a person. How one deals with trust, intimacy, and dependency. For instance, if your attachment style is more emotionally independent, then oxytocin can improve your ability to learn. But it may harm the memory of people who are more dependent on others.
5 Reasons Why We Need Oxytocin
1. Naturally available
Oxytocin is released when we hug someone or embrace someone. The simple contact causes our brains to release oxytocin in both, us and the person we’re embracing. This experience is not limited to humans. Cuddling with your pet can also help increase the level of oxytocin in a body.
2. Love hormone
Oxytocin is called the ‘love molecule’ for a reason. The hormone releases chemicals that create a sense of affection and strengthen bonds between couples. Dopamine and oxytocin are important in human pair-bonding.
3. Build Confidence
Oxytocin helps people with social anxiety as well. The hormone induces positivity and reliance that is helpful in social situations. People with PTSD, autism, and women with the postpartum disorder can also benefit from oxytocin.
4. Nature’s healer
The rise in oxytocin levels can relieve pain – from headaches to cramps – through its anti-inflammatory properties. But many times pain can prevent the release of the hormone in which case synthetically produced oxytocin can help.
5. Natural medication
In recent research, oxytocin has proved to be effective for treating people with clinical depression and anxiety disorders. The chemicals released by the hormone lowers blood pressure in a human body and helps in relaxation.
5 Ways To Increase Oxytocin Naturally
1. Eight hugs a day –
As mentioned above, oxytocin is released with a simple embrace. The activity of hugging can reduce stress and improve immune function.
2. Go on an adventure –
Many activities such as riding a roller coaster or sky-diving can raise oxytocin levels. Activities done with one or more people can produce better results.
3. Soak in a hot water bath –
the warm temperature of the bath accompanied by your favorite aroma and bath salts can also help increase oxytocin levels.
4. Listen with your eyes –
It is said that just a gaze can also alleviate oxytocin in a person. Instead of being glued to a screen, try to focus on the person and give them your attention.
5. Exercise –
physical activities such as yoga and meditation are the best natural ways to increase oxytocin levels. It helps in reducing stress and improves the quality of life.
While oxytocin can help reduce stress, depression, anxiety, and pain, it isn’t a cure. It can help with feeling positive but it can’t give you empathy. If you have trouble with social interactions or relationships, consult a healthcare professional. While it can help you create bonds, it can’t help you sustain them.
Chronic depression is a serious mental disorder that can be resistant to some depression treatments. This disorder is closely linked to social interaction and emotions. Oxytocin is related to making social bonds and processing emotions. Many psychologists suggest therapy with oxytocin to treat disorders related to poor social and emotional awareness.
Oxytocin helps us to connect to other people and makes us feel what others feel. Go give someone you love a hug and feel the magic work.