This series is an alphabetical exploration of 26 options for living well, despite everything. It answers the question–How can we live well, despite problems?
Scientists have identified a hormone called oxytocin (sometimes called the love hormone), which is released by affectionate touch.
Here is real, immediate help for living well, despite everything! Oxytocin:
- Lowers blood pressure;
- Decreases the body’s stress hormones;
- Increases our ability to tolerate pain;
- Makes us feel more trusting and connected;
- And it’s free for the taking.
Interestingly, people get the same surge of love hormone whether they are the initiators or receivers of physical affection.
Physical affection is sweet and pleasant. it activates the same area of the brain–the orbital frontal cortex, as chocolate (with fewer calories!)
I don’t need a PhD in psychology to figure out ways to boost my daily oxytocin. A baby knows–she cries to be held. She pats, kisses, climbs all over people and snuggles into laps.
So I will reach out, today and everyday, and especially when I’m feeling low or blue,
- Give a hug;
- Hold a hand;
- Pat a back;
- Link arms;
- Bump fists!
To touch is to thrive.
Live well, my friends! Reach out and touch someone!
What’s your favorite way to increase feelings of trust and connection?