5 reasons the hormone oxytocin is important and how we can increase it

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 20 October 2020

Oxytocin is better known as the love hormone. But it's also the hormone associated with trust, friendship, and not surprisingly, breastfeeding.

It is an underestimated hormone in it's power to positively affect our overall health, our brain chemistry, and our connection to others.

Here are 5 reasons why increasing oxytocin is important, now more than ever:

  1. It gives us an intense feeling of safety and that someone has our back.
  2. It decreases addiction. Whether that is to food, nicotine, alcohol, drugs, or screens, it doesn't matter.
  3. It increases our ability to problem solve.
  4. It increases our desire to be productive.
  5. It helps mitigate the stress hormone, cortisol.

So, with this hormone being so important, how can we take advantage of it's power and make more of it?

Here are some simple, practical suggestions for you to increase your oxytocin:

  • Hug someone for longer than ten seconds. Human bonds matter and you can't create that over a screen. Shaking hands will also work but hugging is more effective.
  • Spend time with someone versus spending money on them. As humans we put a premium on someone's time.
  • Witness or engage in an act of kindness. The person giving, the person receiving, AND the person witnessing any act of kindness will get a little burst of oxytocin.
  • Ask for help, even when it is something small but it will make your day easier.
  • Add a burst of cold water at the end of your shower. It must be cold long enough to cause nipple erection as this is what also stimulates oxytocin production. You can also use your own imagination on how else you can do this...ahh...I can feel myself blushing!

Now I would love to hear from you! What strategy do you like the most to increase your oxytocin? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday!

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