Getting Closer: The Power of Oxytocin

I’ve noticed more articles being published about oxytocin, a hormone often referred to as the “love hormone.”  Oxytocin fuels feelings of love, trust, and generosity.  It helps couples stay close and parents bond to their children.  This hormone also plays a vital role in restoring feelings of calm and well-being after periods of intense stress.

Want to raise your oxytocin levels?  Here are a few easy ways to boost feelings of connection:

1.  Be physically affectionate:  hugs, kisses, sex, walking arm in arm, massage, etc.
2.  Surround yourself with familiar and comforting sounds, smells, music (ie., the smell of your grandma’s apple pie baking)
3.  Hold a baby
4.  Engage in group activities where you feel connected to others, such as singing in a choir, cheering on your team; laughing together
5.  Pray and/or meditate
6.  Stroke your dog or cat
7.  Do something kind for someone else
8.  Listen deeply to someone
9.  Think loving thoughts
10. Make eye contact

To learn more about the impact of oxytocin, check out the book The Chemistry of Connection by Susan Kuchinskas or check out her blog at www.hugthemonkey.com.

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Licensed psychologist in San Antonio, Texas.
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