Do you ever just yearn for a hug or physical touch to make you have that warm fuzzy feeling inside? The feeling where you feel loved and wanted and safe. Oxytocin is one of the four feel-good hormones. They call it the love hormone because it helps us bond with one another. Low oxytocin levels have been linked to mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety. If you have low oxytocin levels, it is possible to increase them with the following techniques:
- Listening to Music – Listening to your favorite music, such as R&B, Jazz, Country, Dance, Neo Soul, Alternative, etc. has been proven to boost your mood, attention, and motivation, which are all associated with your oxytocin levels.
- Receiving or giving a massage – You can get a professional massage done by a masseuse or even just by a loved one. You can also give a massage to a friend or your partner. A 2012 study, looking at 95 adults found evidence to suggest 15 minutes of massage could not only help people relax, but it could also boost oxytocin levels (Healthline).
- Open Communication – This can be done by sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone close to you, such as expressing how much you care for them. Telling your loved one that you love them can make them feel more affectionate.
- Share a meal with loved ones – Make plans to eat out with friends or family; sharing food and having a great conversation is a great way to bond, especially when it is over a yummy meal. You can have a picnic and pack your favorite snacks or go to a restaurant. You can even make it fun by putting the names of restaurants in a hat, shuffling it up and whichever you pick from the hat first is where you and your friends have to go.
- Pet your animals– Studies have shown that when you pet a dog your oxytocin levels increased substantially. That’s why physical contact, cuddling, and patting their head help you feel better when you are upset. So, get a dog or another furry friend or go volunteer at a shelter to boost your oxytocin levels.
As we know, oxytocin plays an important role in our body helping us with bonding, romantic attachment, trust, and so much more. Low levels of oxytocin have been linked to depression, anxiety, addiction, etc. We have to remember there are ways to naturally boost our oxytocin levels, such as listening to our favorite jams, massages, open communication, eating with others, and petting our furry friends. Bonding with others is so important so go out there and try some of these techniques.
Staff Blogger: Golda Duncan
Golda Duncan is a Peer Services Educator. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a passion for the mental health community and wants to make a change.