The "Love" Hormone
What is it?
Oxytocin, or should we say the 'love hormone', seems pretty appropriate to talk about as we are quickly approaching Valentine's Day. This hormone is commonly released during childbirth and sex, when deepening social connections, and can even be released when cuddling your dog. Sign me uppp!
Why is it important?
Although it is often associated with pleasure and deepening our social connections, new studies have found that it can also aid in weight loss. Our body's natural production of oxytocin acts as a mild appetite suppressant, and elevates our moods, making us less likely to turn to food for pleasure. It also reduces our stress responses, including anxiety.
How can we boost oxytocin levels?
Whether you are in a romantic relationship or not, you can boost your natural oxytocin levels in a number of ways:
1.) Have dinner with the people you love in a mindful, present way. (i.e. no devices or distractions).
2.) Nurture your relationships with your partner, children, family, and friends (hug them often, and make eye contact during in-person conversations)
3.) Pet your dog. Petting, cuddling, or playing with a dog can quickly reduce your blood pressure and stress levels, as well as trigger those happy hormones.
4.) Love hard.
Happy Valentine's Day!