Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter produced by the brain particularly in the hypothalamus. In an easy language to understand, oxytocin is known as the love hormone. Oxytocin occurs naturally in the body. However, oxytocin is also prescribed as a drug for women giving birth to increase contraction during labor.
But, why not naturally trigger the body to produce more oxytocin naturally? Fortunately, there are natural ways to boost oxytocin in the body. Just like the other neurotransmitter such as dopamine and serotonin, these natural ways are totally safe, as well.
Natural Ways To Boost Oxytocin
Before we explore the ten natural ways of making the brain increase oxytocin secretion, let us quickly learn more the basics of it. Oxytocin plays a significant role in women, particularly during childbirth and breastfeeding.
Touch alone can stimulate the brain to secrete more oxytocin. This neurotransmitter also essential in relationships and how we treat others, hence, its common name as the love or bonding hormone. Some people call it the cuddle chemical.
Whatever you call it, oxytocin plays an important role and contributes to one’s sense of happiness and love. Moreover, women secrete more oxytocin than men. Probably, this is one of the reasons women are more loving than men.
As a matter of fact, giving men with low social competence a dose of oxytocin in a nasal spray is helpful.
So, how do we increase oxytocin in the body naturally? Well, let’s explore the 10 most common ways to achieve it.
1. Physical Touch or Contact
In fact, this is one of the health benefits of sex, an increase in oxytocin. A loving relationship triggers the release and activates the increase of oxytocin. The same is true that happens during an orgasm.
2. Hearing or Listening To Encouraging Words
Compliments are among the best encouraging words. When a man compliments his female partner, a lot of good things can happen and even make the relationship sweeter and stronger.
Moreover, oxytocin in the body increases as we become compassionate to other people as well as receive compassion from others, too. Words are powerful. It can either make a person happy or sad. When we have a sense of love, oxytocin increases. Even kindness triggers a boost of oxytocin, as well.
3. Connection Through Conversation
Acknowledgment makes us feel good. It feels like we’re accepted and heard. Hence, listening is one of the simple and natural ways to boost oxytocin in the body. Having an authentic conversation with someone establish that connection.
When you have this opportunity, set aside your phone or computer and listen to what the other person is saying. Moreover, listening to your favorite music also does the same thing.
4. Smiling and Laughing
Meditation is really a powerful practice and has many health benefits. It sort of harmonizes the mind and body leading to mental clarity and relaxation.
Our bodies have a fight or flight response. But when the body is relaxed and calm, oxytocin increases. This is why a regular meditation practice can be helpful to calm the mind and keep stress minimal and under control.
A more apparent benefit of meditation is it lowers blood pressure. Hence, incorporate a meditation practice into your lifestyle and commit a few minutes of your time do it daily. Even if you are at work, meditation is always possible even while commuting.
The brain secretes more oxytocin during exercise along with endorphins, which has an analgesic effect. Therefore, when you exercise regularly, you will not only feel good but have a higher tolerance for pain.
Engaging in regular exercise is not only beneficial for physical fitness but also mental health. However, associate exercise with a gym membership. That is totally false. Any physical activity that keeps you moving count as exercise like walking and running.
7. Crying or Releasing Emotions
Suppressing your emotions can lower oxytocin level. Moreover, withholding and avoiding to deal with stressful and painful feelings results in stress and even physical issues.
Our body is an emotional vehicle and achieving a proper balance of everything is vital including hormones. Tears release when we cry lets the body release emotions such as pain and anger resulting in calmness and mental clarity.
Giving such as volunteering taking care of other people has health benefits including longevity. Lending your time is also considered as giving. Moreover, giving gifts and donating to charities have a similar effect.
Doing these things can lead to more social connections. As mentioned, oxytocin is a bonding hormone allowing one’s ability to socialize more effectively.
Cultivating a creative mind helps relieve stress. Doing creative things takes away worry and fear. As long as you immerse in what you love doing, your brain becomes more focused on achieving the most creative outcome.
Creativity has many forms such as playing an instrument, writing a story or book, even journaling. Additionally, art activities such as painting and drawing are both creative activities. Other hobbies like sewing and knitting are good creative activities.
Keep this in mind, anything that takes you out of your normal routine, the good hormones like oxytocin and endorphins dominate the brain.
10. Having A Pet
Having a pet like a cat or a dog can calming. This is why many people suggest having a pet in order to reduce stress. Moreover, having a pet cultivates love. For instance, having a cat or a dog waiting for you anxiously makes you feel good.
Oxytocin plays a role in how we feel. It is essential that we feel good all the time. Of course, stress and problems are unavoidable. But whenever negative things happen, we have the ability to handle them with ease.
These are the natural ways that you can do in order to boost your oxytocin levels naturally. Probably, there are many other ways not mention here. But hopefully, these are a good starting point.