Happy Valentine's Day friends! Today, let's talk about getting more love in our lives, more love hormone that is!
The fastest way to counteract stress and the production of cortisol as a result of that stress is to produce some oxytocin, commonly called the love hormone. Oxytocin is released by the pituitary gland and induces a sense of love, connection, and trust. The good news is that you can train your brain to release it, thereby creating more love in your life when you need it. Couldn't we all use a little more love? I know I could!
Oxytocin is called the love hormone because it is most often and effectively released during sex or snuggling. In fact, touch is the most effective way to train your brain to release more oxytocin. Happily, you do not need to be coupled to do this. Hugging someone you love and feel safe with for 20 seconds will release it. When oxytocin enters our system, both cortisol levels and blood pressure are lowered. Petting a friendly animal also will release it. I always think of playing with Casey, my rescue dog, as my daily dose of oxytocin!
More good news: you do not have to physically touch someone to produce oxytocin. Connection sought and received from someone we love and trust also can stimulate oxytocin in the body. Call that friend you miss, send an email to someone with whom you want to connect, and drive down your stress response!
Oxytocin is very important to a woman's birth experience and relationship with her baby post-partum. Oxytocin aids the uterus during labor. After birth, it is released during breastfeeding. Studies have shown that women who had high levels of oxytocin during their pregnancy, have a better bonding experience with their baby.
Scientific studies are underway for how oxytocin can positively alter disease states. As these studies are ongoing, more research is need for conclusive results.
For now, it is enough to know that creating more oxytocin in your life is available to you, whether you are coupled or single, young or old. The love we seek can be ours and so easily! Happy Valentine's Day!
If you would like to learn more ways to invite oxytocin into your life, Linda Graham's book Bouncing Back is a good resource for exercises you can do to stimulate natural oxytocin production.
Want more love in your life? Yes, yes you do! I am giving away five (5!) one-hour health coaching sessions to help you start creating a life you love. It's first come first served. All you have to do is click here, fill out your contact information, and say, "Yes! I want a free health coaching session. Happy Valentine's Day to me!"