Oxytocin, the Bonding Hormone
Chances are you’ve heard of the bonding hormone oxytocin, but you may not have heard how important it is to living a happy and healthy life. As the name suggests, oxytocin plays a role in bonding. This hormone is produced naturally by the body and is released during activities such as laughter, play, hugging, kissing, cuddling, and sexual intimacy. This hormone strengthens bonds between family units, social groups, and impacts emotional, cognitive, and social behaviors. While oxytocin has an impact on pro-social behaviors such as trust, it is also a key factor in an organism's emotional and physical well being. Research shows that oxytocin aids in stress and pain management, reduces anxiety and promotes an overall sense of relaxation and well-being.
Living with Hormone Imbalances
Hormones are chemicals produced by glands in the endocrine system and a hormonal imbalance occurs when organisms improperly regulate the quantities of these chemicals. Hormones travel through bloodstreams and deliver important messages to tissues and organs and ensure their proper function. It can be quite noticeable when something is off. Even minor imbalances can cause numerous side effects and diminish a sense of wellbeing. If an organism is deficient in the hormone oxytocin, it won’t feel as connected to others and it may experience an impaired sense of self. If the amygdala, the part of the brain that regulates emotions, is lacking in oxytocin the organism may experience an unwarranted increase in anxiety.
Natural Ways to Boosting Your Oxytocin Levels
Of course, oxytocin is an important component and can boost feelings of trust, security and contentment AND it can reduce inflammation, water retention and appetite! The good news is there are several, natural, ways to achieve a boost in your oxytocin levels with simple, everyday activities. If you want to experience these amazing benefits you can try:
Sex: Sexual intercourse and in particular, an orgasm, increase oxytocin levels. Not only will you receive the added bonus of a boost in this hormone but your partner will as well!
Yoga: Research shows that Yoga lowers anxiety and stress, relieves depression, and improves your quality of sleep. Studies also show that yoga may help increase oxytocin production!
Music: Studies suggest that listening to and participating in music increases oxytocin levels, especially when doing so with a group.
Massage: Everyone loves a good massage and research shows that a massage both helps you relax AND naturally boosts your oxytocin. Not only does the recipient of the massage experience this benefit but so does the masseur.
Pet Your Dog or Cat: It’s a well known fact that petting your furry loved ones improves your mood, reduces stress, and lengthens your life! But research suggests that both pets and humans see an increase in oxytocin from positive physical contact.
Now that you’ve learned the benefits of oxytocin for you and your loved ones, you can implement these simple tips to your daily routine. If you see positive change in your life due to these new habits, and you’re interested in continuing to explore Oxytocin research and its astounding benefits, click here!
For research purposes only. These chemicals are not for human consumption.