What is Oxytocin and what does it do?
Oxytocin is a hormone in the body also known as the “cuddle drug” because it is produced when we connect with others, bond or share a hug. We can also produce oxytocin when horse riding, playing with a pet or when a mother breast feeds. Research showed that fathers given oxytocin played more closely with their babies than did fathers who weren’t given an added dose.
Another study found that men in relationships given a burst of oxytocin spray stood farther away from an attractive woman than men who weren’t given any oxytocin. Single men didn’t see any effect from the hormone, suggesting oxytocin may work as a fidelity booster for guys who are already bonded with another woman. Oxytocin, along with dopamine and norepinephrine are believed to be highly critical in human’s bonding together in pairs.
Get your dose of oxyctocin simply by shaking someone’s hand or giving someone a hug – it’s free and accessible. Oxytocin has the ability to help break down social barriers and allow people to feel they can trust those around them. It is even thought that oxytocin could help people suffering from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) as well those with autism.
Oxytocin is also known for promoting better sex in the bedroom. The brain is flooded with oxytocin when a person orgasms – possibly explaining why many people like to cuddle afterwards.
Surprisingly, research has shown that oxytocin can also be used to prevent obesity in some cases. Tests were done on mice that were obese and oxytocin deficient When given oxytocin infusions their weight return to normal.
Oxytocin really does amaze me with all the positive results it can bring – it apparently increases generosity and increases our ability to trust others. It has also been known to be useful in counteracting depression and anxiety which in turn will affect the amount of stress we experience. So it all looks pretty good. Perhaps we should make it compulsory to hug as many people as we can every day. Just thinking about that makes me smile and more than likely is producing oxytocin!!