The phrase, “Love is a drug,” has been proven true in a sense with research from Syracuse University.
Oxytocin: the Cuddle Hormone
According to researchers from Syracuse University, brain images of people in love resemble the brain of a person on cocaine. Love makes the brain produce several euphoric chemicals such as dopamine, adrenaline, and oxytocin in 12 areas of the brain simultaneously. These hormones are known to promote health, happiness, and longevity.
Oxytocin is the cuddle hormone. This incredible hormone helps couples get along better, a study in Biological Psychiatry has reported. Swiss researchers gave 47 couples a nasal spray containing either oxytocin or a placebo. The couples then participated in a videotaped “conflict” discussion. Those that got oxytocin exhibited more positive and less negative behavior than those given the placebo. Oxytocin was also linked to lower secretion of cortisol, a stress hormone.
Let’s all celebrate the magnificent gift of love this month; it’s our duty to love each other. If you can’t get some oxytocin nasal spray, there are ways for you do to produce this hormone on your own.
3 Natural Ways to Produce Oxytocin
Listed below are three Mindful tips to try this month.
- Cuddle with someone. There are many benefits of cuddling. Cuddling releases feel-good hormones including oxytocin that helps you feel connected to another person. So, this month cuddle with someone as you watch your favorite movie, watch a sunset or sit by a fire.
- Grab a bite together. Your body produces oxytocin when you’re with someone you care about and they are in close proximity to you. So, go have a meal or coffee with a friend. Or go for a walk together with your partner. By enjoying your time together, you are actually boosting your health.
- Love your animals. Showing affection for your pets also produces oxytocin. So, give your cat or dog a big scratch on their bellies or behind their ears. Relax on the couch with them, or play a quick game of Frisbee or fetch. This type of bonding is not only healthy for you, it’s also great for your pet’s health.
All these ideas involve a nurturing behavior or the sensation of touch. These are just three ideas, but there are other ideas to try including hugs!