‘Love’ Hormone Oxytocin Found to Reduce Stress, Bring Peace to Intimate and Global Relationships
In study conducted at the University of Zurich, the ‘love’ hormone otherwise known as oxytocin was shown to lower the ‘stress’ hormone cortisol and regulate interpersonal relationships in a positive way. In both romantic relationships and more professional partnerships, oxytocin can help to build trust and intimacy. It also fosters more cooperation and keeps the work place more harmonious, whether a virtual one or a brick and mortar office.
More of the neurochemical oxytocin can be created by giving platonic hugs or cuddling up with your partner. It can also inspire leaders to give spontaneous positive feedback and compliments, which makes for a very happy workforce. After all, everyone wants to feel appreciated. As the world becomes more connected through global interactions, oxytocin might just be the way to keep those relationships positive.
Even sharing a bed with someone you love can increase oxytocin levels in the brain. This may even be one of the reasons that people in loving, long-term relationships tend to live longer. Since oxytocin may reduce stress levels, based on the research published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, it is also safe to assume that overall illness and disease rates would lower as the love hormone is produced – since stress is a main factor in illness and disease.
How to Boost Oxytocin Naturally
Other ways you can boost oxytocin include:
- If you are a woman, breastfeed, it boosts oxytocin through the roof!
- Touch others more often. Joining hands, linking arms, or any other form of appropriate embrace is oxytocin-boosting. No wonder the more gregarious cultures (think of Italians or Brazilian people) are happy.
- Daydream about someone you love. This boosts oxytocin levels.
- Pet your dog, cat, or other animal friend. It increases the cuddle hormones plenty.
- Pleasant smells like baked pies, or gardenias, fresh spring air, or a favorite (natural) cologne or perfume can improve levels of oxytocin in the brain.
- Listen to soothing music. Music is healing because it increases oxytocin, which allows the body to recover from pain and injury faster. And as I reported earlier in May here on NaturalSociety, music has even been linked to increased immunity along with improved mood.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.