- Oxytocin helps in uplifting your mood
- Oxytocin helps in creating bond between mother and newborn
- Oxytocin can help in reducing stress, anxiety and depression
Health coach Luke Coutinho says that talking about hormones is extremely important. Constant communication of hormones in body determines emotional well-being, physical health and mental health. One such important hormone is oxytocin, which is also known as cuddle hormone or the love molecule, or bonding hormone in the body. Oxytocin begins to function the moment a newborn baby is handed over to the mother. Oxytocin is what creates a bond between the mother and the child, with the help of touch. The hormone affects brain health and influences anxiety, depression, stress, nervous system and may even improve immunity.
People who fall in love experience high production of oxytocin. It makes them behave and think differently. Oxytocin is made in the hypothalamus of the brain and secreted in the pituitary gland.
Oxytocin reduces inflammation
Oxytocin production can help in reducing inflammation. The more oxytocin you produce, the less inflammation you will have in your body.
It activates serotonin
Serotonin is the hormone which uplifts your mood. Oxytocin activates serotonin and that is when our moods improve and we feel good.
Oxytocin activates endorphins
Endorphins are secreted by the pituitary gland. Endorphins are also known as nature's morphine. Morphine is taken as a painkiller and endorphins perform in a similar way in the body. Runners are able to experience runner's high because of endorphins. Runner's high is a phenomenon wherein runners don't feel the pain despite running for long durations or wear and tear of muscles. Production of endorphins is responsible for runner's high. Endorphins also stimulate dopamine. Dopamine is a hormone which helps you have a sense of pleasure. If your dopamine is not activated, you might not be able to experience pleasure from things that are supposed to make you happy. Thus, oxytocin is an important hormone for endorphins to function properly.
How to stimulate oxytocin?
1. Touch: Something as simple as human touch can stimulate oxytocin. Human touch makes you feel good and helps in creating a bond. Hugs stimulate oxytocin. Simply holding hands of someone you love is going to help in stimulating oxytocin.
2. Love: Oxytocin is known as the love molecule. When you are in true and respectful love, it makes you feel good and stimulates production of oxytocin.
3. Pets: Having pets with whom you can play, cuddle and spend time with, can also stimulate production of oxytocin.
4. Gifts: Giving small and meaningful gifts can up your levels of oxytocin. They needn't necessarily be expensive. Even small gestures of giving without expectation can make you feel good and stimulate oxytocin in the body.
5. Exercise: Doing exercises which you love is going to help in produce more oxytocin and endorphins in your body.
6. Food: Eating food that connects with you can lead to production of more oxytocin. Good, healthy and balanced diet makes you feel good, does not make you overeat and also helps in maintaining your overall health.
7. Engaging in activities that boost adrenalin: Engaging in adventure sports like mountain climbing or underwater diving can stimulate production of oxytocin.
8. Gut health: Your gut and brains are connected with each other. A healthy gut can help in production of oxytocin. Read here to know ways to improve your gut health.
9. Sleep:Proper and good quality of sleep can facilitate production of oxytocin in the body.
10. Good friends and great relationships: These two are great for production of oxytocin in the body. Surrounding yourself with people that love you, acknowledge you and make you feel a sense of belonging, can make you feel happy in life.
11. Coffee in moderation: Ever heard of the idea of having great conversations over a cup of coffee? Yes, coffee, when consumed in moderation, can stimulate oxytocin production.
12. Meditation and deep breathing: Meditation and deep breathing activities are great for stimulating production of oxytocin and reducing stress.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.