The hormone oxytocin is commonly known as a substance that deepens our connections with one another, particularly in loving relationships. It is released through human touch (hugging or even hand shaking), by gazing at someone (or even thinking about them) as well as during labor and orgasm.
New research, however, suggests that the hormone plays much more of a role in our lives than previously thought. Here are some of the most fascinating ways that oxytocin assists us in life.
Pain Relief And Healing.
Studies show that oxytocin has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. The trick is getting some when you need it, which can be tricky.
The hormone can be produced synthetically and administered as a drug, but it may be easier to ask your partner for a hug, massage, or simply some good lovin’.
It Aids Social Anxiety.
Oxytocin can increase self-esteem, induce feelings of optimism, and help to build trust between people, and is therefore regarded as an aid to overcoming inhibitions and fears in social engagements. Studies also show that the hormone can ease the suffering caused by PTSD, and even help people on the autism spectrum with their communication skills.
It’s An Innate Love Potion.
Oxytocin is often referred to as ‘the love molecule,’ as it has been associated with the establishment of intimacy and attachment when coupling.
In addition, the hormone incites sexual arousal and helps men maintain erections.
This is a waterfall effect, as when you are aroused, you produce more oxytocin, which brings about orgasm, which produces more oxytocin in itself.
The Mom Molecule.
Oxytocin is sometimes administered to induce labor (as the drug Pitocin), but it plays an essential role in stimulating natural uterine contractions and in establishing trust and intimacy between mother and child. Oxytocin is also passed on to baby through breast milk. Researchers have also observed low oxytocin levels in mothers dealing with postpartum depression, leading scientists to study the potential for treating clinical depression in all demographics.
It Relieves Stress.
It has been observed that oxytocin lowers blood pressure and reduces stress, perhaps unsurprisingly now that we know that it helps us feel trust and assuage social anxiety.
Digestion, which is impeded by high stress, can be improved as well with the release of this hormone. Receptors for oxytocin and oxytocin itself have been found in the intestinal tract as well, and is thought to aid peristalsis.
Oxytocin Makes Us Give More….
The hormone is now known to increase generosity in us. Research has shown that increased oxytocin levels been connected to being giving, even at personal cost.
And Also Makes Us Human.
Humans are innately a social, community-oriented animal that cares about others.
Oxytocin gives us a spark to begin relationships and the power to see them through.
Without it, we would not trust, empathize, or love one another, making us a different species entirely.
Feature Picture: Android Jones