Insights: How to Get More of the Love and Connection Hormone, Oxytocin!

Lady bending down in a field, hugging her white dog on a sunny day

Have you ever wondered what happens inside your body whenever you feel good?  In this week’s Insights episode, I talk about a hormone called oxytocin, its effect on us, and how we can increase the release of this hormone inside your body.

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Topics Discussed in this Episode:

  • What is Oxytocin
  • Three ways to boost Oxytocin

Key Takeaways:

  • Oxytocin is a very powerful hormone that also acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. It comes with the nickname “the bonding and connection hormone” or even “the love hormone” because of its effect on us.
  • We get it when we hug. We get it when we display generosity or empathy. It makes us feel good about ourselves and others. It is so powerful.
  • The three ways to boost oxytocin:

Spending time with animals

Studies have shown that spending time with animals, specifically, dogs, releases oxytocin in the body, and makes both you and the dog feel good. Maybe that’s why so many welcome pets into their homes and why so many therapy centers use animals to help treat and rehabilitate people.

Give people hugs

Studies found that this works with strangers. You hug them for a little bit longer than feels comfortable. I think 20 seconds is what the study found. You get a release of oxytocin, even though you do not know that person. It is just so fascinating.

Giving a gift

The act of giving increases the release of oxytocin, and makes us feel good as well. That could be a random act of kindness, a surprise gift, donating your time or stepping in to help someone up.

Gratitude also boosts Oxytocin. When you are grateful, you feel real gratitude. It does change your physiology quite considerably. It isn’t concentrating at the end of the day on the three things I am grateful for. I think it is now and again just being present, really grateful for something, sitting with that feeling for a bit, before you move on. That is my gratitude practice.

Action Steps:

  • Spend time with animals.
  • Give people hugs.
  • Give gifts.
  • Be grateful.
  • Give someone your time.
  • Help others.

Leanne said:

“Think about the acronym called DOSE. Dose of happiness, if you like. It’s all about dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. The message is how can you, in a healthy way, generate more dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins to preserve good mental health, to keep you psychologically well. And feeling good about things in the world and your place and yourself and so on…”

Thanks for listening!

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