All About Oxytocin: The All-Natural, FREE Hormone You Want More Of
Updated: Sep 11, 2018
I wrote this and it was published by the WellnessUniverse, the resource for total wellbeing. As a copywriter and content manager, I often tackle subjects on health and wellness.
She was escorted out of the building after the CEO fired her.
Sometimes she was charming and even-tempered, but other times she would shout at clients, staff, and eventually, that CEO. She’d also put her head down on her desk at times to sleep.
It usually seemed to get worse after lunch, which wasn’t surprising since the place was known for greasy hamburgers, salty French fries, and sugary cupcakes.
I always suspected a hormone imbalance. No, she wasn’t menopausal, but she was in her mid-30s, a prime time for a drastic reduction in progesterone, the hormone sometimes called “nature’s valium.”
Having had my own nasty bout with the horrors of perimenopause, I’m quite familiar with those seven dwarves that actress Suzanne Somers named in her book, I’m Too Young for This! — Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Bloaty, Sleepy, Forgetful and Psycho.
Okay, we get it… This is a stressful world.
Sometimes just going to the mailbox can flip the switch from happy and calm to angry and anxious. Add in personal and professional responsibilities, deadlines, bill paying, etc., and you can be one frazzled person.
Oxytocin: The Great Mood Enhancer
Many years ago, I heard Deepak Chopra speak and he said, “Abundance is all around us, and it’s free for the asking–blue sky, water, foliage, nature, etc.”
Spending time around these things is all you need to boost oxytocin, a hormone sometimes called “Love Hormone” or “Cuddle Hormone.” (1)
It’s all-natural and doesn’t cost a cent. Just spend time in a garden, meditation park, or anywhere there’s nature!
There’s another way to get it; oxytocin is receptive to touch, so getting a massage, petting animals, cuddling babies or having sex can also increase it.
Here’s Why You Want More Oxytocin:
It lowers cortisol, that stress hormone which, in moderation, isn’t so bad, but can really make life miserable when it’s in excess.
First, think of oxytocin as it should be, like a flower, blooming in the morning and then gradually closing throughout the day until it’s just about non-existent at night.
When you’re chronically stressed, though, everything gets switched around, with you being exhausted in the morning and wide-awake at night. You also “comfort eat.” After all, who wants to prepare any meal, let alone a healthy one, when they’re exhausted? They’ll consume a lot of sugar and caffeine to stay awake. The lack of sleep will trigger ghrelin, the “hunger hormone,” and your immunity will be lowered, and you might even have cardiovascular and digestive problems.
Increased cortisol at night, can stimulate other neurotransmitters, like adrenaline. Then you’ll REALLY be awake!
Keeps You from Being A “Debbie Downer.”
That SNL character may be funny on television, but it’s no joke in real life. Laughter boosts the immune system by reducing stress, not to mention those stress hormones, and also gets rid of negative emotions.
By the way, you’ll notice that people will respond to YOU differently when you’re smiling, as opposed to frowning and scowling.
Relieves Social Anxiety:
“Oxytocin is known to reduce anxiety and stress in social interactions,” says the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It also creates a better relationship building by helping you develop confidence, faith, and positivity.
Psychologists have been warning us for years of the health dangers associated with loneliness, but now it appears to be reaching epidemic proportions. Health insurer Cigna recently released a survey revealing that half of all Americans feel lonely.
Loneliness has been linked to heart disease, stroke, depression, weight and esteem issues, sleeplessness, other immune system problems and might even possibly hinder people from recovering from cancer.
Soothes the Brain.
Ever hear the phrase “amygdala hijack?” That’s when your amygdala, the part of the brain that controls emotions, isn’t functioning properly.
That can happen with stress, sleep deprivation, hormonal imbalance, etc., but the National Institutes of Health (NIH) explains that oxytocin calms the brain by releasing non-sensory stimulation that may be critically involved in many types of self-soothing behaviors, such as stress reduction.
Can Make You the Office “Productivity Star.”
When you’re happy, your brain releases chemicals that decrease stress and stress hormones. It also increases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep, memory, energy, and appetite.
As a result, you have better concentration and increased problem-solving and coping skills. Happy employees are 12 percent more productive, says business publication Fast Company.
Bonus Tip: The serotonin can make you a star in the bedroom as well, as it also regulates sexual desire.
What are your tricks for staying calm and focused? Please share them with us in the comments section below!