Oxytocin is a happy hormone that is also popularly known as the love hormone, cuddle hormone, or bonding hormone. It is an emotional amplifier and can have positive and negative effects on the relationship.
Oxytocin enhances the feeling of trust and empathy and helps form a good bond with people. Hugging, cuddling, and sexual intimacy trigger the production of oxytocin.
Oxytocin is released by the hypothalamus of the brain. It acts as a neurotransmitter. The functions of oxytocin are as follows:
- Facilitates breastfeeding and strengthens the bond between the mother and the baby.
- Strengthens emotional bond and fidelity between the couples
- Makes people feel more extroverted and social
- Helps in the treatment of depression, autism, social anxiety and schizophrenia(1, 2)
- Helps in reducing stress and anxiety
How To Boost The Oxytocin Level Naturally?
The body produces oxytocin naturally. There are also a few natural ways to boost its production. Listed below are 8 ways in which one can boost Oxytocin levels naturally:
Yoga is known for its numerous health benefits such as:
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Improving sleep
- Relieving depression
- Improving the quality of life
Apart from all of these, it is also known to increase oxytocin production(3)
A study was conducted to see the effect of oxytocin on people with schizophrenia. 15 participants saw an improvement in the ability to recognize emotions and socio-occupational functioning.
Music has a lot of benefits such as improving mood, focus, and motivation. It also improves the oxytocin level.
A study done on 20 open-heart surgery patients found, that listening to music improved their oxytocin levels and they felt more relaxed than those who did not listen to music(4)
Another study on 16 singers, found increased oxytocin levels in all participants after singing lessons(5)
Therefore to bring in a boost in the production of this happy hormone, list down your favorite tunes and swing to them.
Most people love getting a massage. They report improved mood and a greater feeling of well-being, less pain, stress, and anxiety after a massage session.
A study found, 15 minutes massage not only relaxes people but also boosts oxytocin level(6)
Research done in 2015 found that massage also increases oxytocin levels in the person giving it(7)
It is not necessary to get a professional massage to relieve stress or increase the oxytocin level. Massage from a partner may work just as well.
Share Love And Affection
Sharing love and affection with people can also help increase the oxytocin levels. It makes people feel loved and reply in kind.
It also increases prosocial feelings on both sides.
Go ahead and tell a partner or a friend that you love them and feel the good effect it leaves on you.
Spending Time With Friends
Having close friends make you feel socially supported and less alone in the world.
The feel-good factor while being around the friends makes you feel more positive about interaction and you feel more like being around them. It is the oxytocin at work.
The love and affection increase as you spend more time with them.
Meditation helps reduce stress and anxiety, increases the feeling of compassion, and improves the mood. It increases the sense of connection and improves the relationship with others.
There is a compassion meditation in which you can direct, love, compassion, and goodwill towards someone in your life and send thoughts of wellness and peace towards them.
Cook and Eat With Someone You Care About
Sharing food is a great way to bond. Research shows it can increase the levels of oxytocin(8)
The act of eating itself is known to trigger oxytocin release. Prepare a meal with your partner or your friend and share the finished meal. It brings in a happy and satisfied feeling.
It is a good way of spending time with people you love and bond over its creation.
Sexual intimacy is a key way to release oxytocin and orgasm has a role to play in it the most.
Having sex with a person you are romantically connected to can help you feel closer and more connected.
In this way, both the partners get an oxytocin boost.
Oxytocin is not a cure but is way beneficial in repairing a damaged relationship, giving empathy, and helping you become more trusting.
Although the body naturally produces this hormone, but, now you know how to boost its production and whoosh away the feeling of stress and anxiety and feel happy and gay.