Our bodies have their own natural opiates, including some of the more famous ones like serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin. They have various different functions but act primarily as neurotransmitters that induce feelings of happiness, accomplishment, and general well-being.
As the unofficial "love" hormone, oxytocin is the brain chemical responsible for that warm, fuzzy feeling we feel when we bond with others and feel loved. It's even been identified as the hormone released in mothers at birth to illicit an intense rush of love and during lactation and breastfeeding to further increase the bond! An oxytocin release in the brain also induces a feeling of safety, boosts happiness, and decreases anxiety.
Although low and irregular oxytocin levels are commonly caused by life events like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and childhood trauma, loneliness and anxiety can contribute to lower levels of this feel-good hormone. If you are in need of the calming feel-good benefits that come from a boost of love, here are six ways to naturally induce a release of oxytocin.
Accept a Compliment
Our oxytocin levels increase when people are nice to us, so accepting compliments and being open to words of encouragement and care — as well as giving them — increases feelings of warmth and being rewarded that are associated with oxytocin.
Have an Orgasm
Whenever you have consenting physical contact like hugging, touching, or having sex that elicit a feeling of safety and well-being, you experience an oxytocin release because it's the hormone responsible for attachment.
Meditation and running are some solitary activities that you can try to boost your oxytocin levels if you want to be alone. These exercises allow you to not only mitigate negative thoughts but also boost your feeling of well-being upon completion.
Let Your Emotions Out
Suppressing your emotions can lower your oxytocin levels, so let whatever you're holding in out. Allow yourself to feel whatever you're holding back from, because the release will calm any anxieties and ease your worries some.
Giving of yourself can take various different forms. Whether it's volunteering or showing an interest in someone else, giving of yourself and being empathetic will make you feel good about yourself.