Seven Ways to Boost Oxytocin
Have you Heard of Oxytocin? If it doesn’t ring a bell, maybe you might recognize this hormone by its other names: the love hormone, cuddle hormone, or even the bonding hormone.
As the names suggest, oxytocin is a vital ingredient in the human bonding mechanism. It is first released during childbirth and breast-feeding, making it the glue between the parent and infant’s bond.
Things that can trigger this hormone within your body are the following: hugging, kissing, cuddling…basically, any form of physical intimacy with another human can set it off and get you to feel the love.
However, as lovey-dovey as this sounds, oxytocin can’t magically alter your behavior and make you trust or love someone out of nowhere. It can boost feelings of love, security, and trust towards another person but only when you already care for that person.
Oxytocin is produced naturally within your body but if you want to find ways that purposely trigger its production to feel the love, try these 7 things:
1. Tune in to your inner Yogi
The benefits of Yoga are endless, but a few include:
· Lower anxiety
· Relief from depression
· Improved sleep
· It helps you feel relaxed, refreshed, and awesome
The last point is what really lets you connect to yourself and your surroundings, helping you recognize emotions and setting off that healthy dose of oxytocin to get your day started on a good note.
2. Listen to music
Your taste of music might be completely different from mine, but that’s fine. Everyone loves listening to music and zoning out. It helps us relax and find peace. You might have realized that listening to music has other benefits too, like improving your mood, motivation and improve the ability to create bonds with others- an effect related to oxytocin.
So, here’s another reason to crank up your favorite tunes!
3. Get a massage
Who doesn’t love a good massage?
The touch of another person (albeit a stranger) can not only help untangle those knots but also feel a bonding sensation that boosts levels of oxytocin. This effect is what ultimately gets you to feel less pain, stress, and anxiety after the massage and improves your overall mood.
4. Spend time with friends
Hanging out with your gang supports the feeling of social support and makes you feel less alone in this vast world. That’s oxytocin at work. That bubbly feeling you have when you’re with your friends helps you feel positive and increase your want to spend more time with them. The more you spend time with them, the deeper this bond gets. And you know what else? Try doing something with them that you’ve never done before. Bonding while doing unique experiences also helps boost that oxytocin level.
Meditating on a daily basis (even if it’s only for 10-20minutes) can help reduce stress levels and improve your overall mood. Meditating can help you feel more compassion towards yourself and others, and if you focus it on someone you care about, it can definitely bolster your oxytocin levels. This type of meditation is called compassion meditation and involves directing loving thoughts towards someone in your life.
6. Cuddle or hug
There’s not much explanation needed in this department. Find someone you care about and squeeze up next to them to get that oxytocin production going.
Hugging and hand-holding can also do the trick. So, grab your partner, child or even pet and cuddle on up with them for a good long moment.
7. Pet dogs
Are you a dog lover? You’re in luck today!
If possible, stop what you’re doing immediately and go pet your furry friend. Do you feel better? We thought so, your dog probably does as well. When you cuddle with your animal friend or when you feel a bit blue, that comfortable feeling is thanks to the high levels of oxytocin being produced in your body while this sweet connection is going down.
Cat lover out there- this one definitely works for you too!