What is oxytocin, anyway? Well, If you’ve heard about oxytocin but aren’t quite sure what it is or why you need it, you’re in the right place. Read on to learn how to increase oxytocin – the feel good hormone – and more!
Do you know that feeling you get when you connect with someone? When all of the sudden you feel safe and calm, just because of a certain someone’s touch or embrace?
While this may feel like a passing pleasure, physical contact with those we care about actually has lasting benefits.
The reason: a hormone called oxytocin.
This hormone is absolutely vital to create lasting, loving relationships, and there’s one way that works better than any other to boost oxytocin — so let’s dig in.
What You’ll Learn:
- What is oxytocin?
- How does your body make oxytocin?
- How does oxytocin create loving relationships?
- The best way to boost your oxytocin levels
What Is Oxytocin?
Oxytocin is a hormone that’s produced in your brain by the hypothalamus, and secreted by your pituitary gland. Often referred to as the “love chemical”, oxytocin plays a vital role in reproduction for both males and females.
Beyond its reproductive activity, however, oxytocin also plays a crucial role in bonding. The best example of this is the release of oxytocin from a mother who is holding her child, which instigates the release of breast milk. The loving and trusting bond between mother and child creates the perfect conditions for her to produce nourishment to feed her baby.
When oxytocin is flowing you feel safe, relaxed, and ready to connect. Conversely, low levels of this love chemical are associated with mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
Many people find that over time their romantic relationships start to feel less loving and more robotic. This is likely due to an increase in stress, with a decrease in oxytocin levels. The good news is, increasing your oxytocin levels is actually pretty easy and the impact it can have on your love life and well-being could be life changing.
What Releases Oxytocin?
Oxytocin is released in response to sensory nerve stimulation. Your sensory nerves carry information to your brain and are activated by things like touch and stimulation of the skin.
This hormone is also released during certain muscle contractions like labor and sexual activity.
Some examples of oxytocin stimulators include:
- Warm temperature on the skin
- Gentle massage
- Breast feeding
- Skin to skin contact
As you can see, oxytocin is a deeply intimate hormone that’s typically released in response to interpersonal bonding. When a romantic partnership lacks oxytocin the desire for intimacy can fade, and that natural spark that brought you together may feel like a distant memory.
How Oxytocin Creates Loving Relationships
Oxytocin is truly a crucial component to any successful partnership. Let’s dive into the science to see how this magical hormone holds the keys to lasting love.
#1 Increases Trust
Trust is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship. You could love your partner immensely, but if you don’t trust them it will be challenging to carry on long-term. Oftentimes opening up and feeling safe with someone simply comes down to whether or not you trust them.
Research shows that oxytocin plays a role in creating trust among people. One study even found that in people playing a money game, a nasal spray of oxytocin raised their trust in one another.
The researchers noted that it wasn’t that people were simply feeling more adventurous after the oxytocin, but rather they were more willing to open up and accept social risks.
#2 Creates Bonding
One of the most well-recognized benefits of oxytocin is its effect on interpersonal bonding. This is clearly shown in the parent-offspring dynamic where both parent and child experience increases in oxytocin when there is skin to skin contact.
In addition, the same areas of the brain that light up when people are in love, light up in the presence of parent-child bonding.
In order to truly bond, you need to feel safe enough to be vulnerable and seen. Oxytocin helps people open up and feel connected to one another, allowing for an opportunity to bond.
#3 Produces Pleasure
Oxytocin levels are associated with both male and female orgasms.
In fact, levels of oxytocin continue to increase during sex and peak during female orgasm and male ejaculation. Whether oxytocin plays a role in creating pleasure, or is activated in response to pleasure is unclear. However, the presence of oxytocin during a romantic interaction seems to signify the presence of pleasure.
What’s more, research shows that there is a connection between oxytocin and the another compound called anandamide — also dubbed the “bliss hormone.” Anandamide increases pleasurable feelings of motivation and happiness, and promotes social bonding.
#4 Creates Desire For Monogamy
Whether monogamy is your thing or not, no one can argue that increasing the attraction between you and your partner doesn’t feel good.
In one study, researchers administered oxytocin to a group of men, and then showed them pictures of their partner. The researchers found that the oxytocin stimulated specific reward centers in the men’s brains, resulting in an increased attractiveness of their partner and a heightened desire for monogamy.
Animal studies have also shown that increased levels of the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin result in increased desire for monogamy among sheep and voles.
#5 Promotes Relaxation
Research shows that high levels of oxytocin are associated with a decrease in blood pressure along with a sedative-like effect.
In general, oxytocin is linked to feelings of well-being, and a reduction in stress and anxiety. This is likely due to the its effects on your sympathetic nervous system — allowing your body to move away from fight or flight into a more calm state.
In addition, oxytocin increases the release of feel good hormones like dopamine and serotonin, while decreasing the stress hormone cortisol.
Boost Your Oxytocin For Deeper Connection
By now you’re probably wondering how exactly you can boost your oxytocin to enhance the quality of your romantic relationships.
Lucky for you, I have a simple, effective, and enjoyable answer to your oxytocin needs — it’s called The Soulmate Embrace.
The Soulmate Embrace was created by Susan Bratton as a way to increase intimacy and boost oxytocin levels in romantic partnerships. Much more than a hug, this type of embrace creates trust while diminishing stress — allowing you to truly open up and connect with your partner.
When a woman is relaxed she’s able to produce more oxytocin then when she’s in a stressed state. This sustained embrace enhances the relaxation response in women, increasing the release of oxytocin and allowing her to feel deeper desire.
Whereas men can actually use lovemaking as a release, women need to relax first, and then they can connect. Using the The Soulmate Embrace technique can open up your relationship and allow for deeper, more meaningful and nurturing connection.
Reap all the benefits that oxytocin has to offer by learning this simple, yet profound technique for deep bonding.
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