Hugging can reduce your risk for heart disease and boost your immune system. This simple act of affection releases a very important hormone: oxytocin.
Oxytocin creates trust, intimacy, and builds healthy relationships.
It’s released by women when they breast feed their babies and during childbirth, and it’s released by women and men during orgasm. The offspring of animals are rejected by their mothers if the release of oxytocin is blocked. Oxytocin is important for the creation of strong bonds between couples. Men will be more likely to remain faithful if their oxytocin is strong. Oxytocin aids in increasing fidelity for both men and women.
Here are the benefits of oxytocin:
- Creates secure attachment in couples
- Reduces the effects of stress on the mind and body
- Increases the pleasure of orgasms
- Helps the crystallization of emotional memories
- Facilitates childbirth and breastfeeding
- Boosts sexual arousal
- Reduces drug cravings
- Improves social skills
- Triggers protective instincts
- Helps in having a good night’s sleep
- Fosters generosity
Here are some KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetie) Tips for increasing Oxytocin
- Snuggling and hugging are simple ways to keep oxytocin flowing, hence its nick name “the cuddle hormone”. Affectionate touch raises oxytocin and increases the strength of the immune system and reduces cardiovascular stress.
- Receiving and giving gifts increases oxytocin. The simple act of recognizing a loved one’s birthday or anniversary will send oxytocin levels up for both of you.
- Deep breathing affects your vagus nerve activity and can help you get out of “fight or flight” response. Oxytocin reduces cortisol. Just try to breathe into your belly when you are tense. You can’t. If you relax your abdominal muscles enough for deep belly breathing you are relaxing. This kind of conscious breathing is called “pranayama” in the ancient yoga texts. The early texts on yoga said that your lifespan is measured in the number of breaths you take. If you breathe fast you die earlier. Those early texts said very little about exercises we now call yoga. The goal of the yoga asanas was to make sure you can “sit up with a straight spine” in order to breath consciously and to meditate.
- Meditation increases oxytocin levels. Meditation positively enhances every single one of the feel good hormones! There is just nothing bad to say about meditation. Just do it.
- Have more sex. This is a great way to increase your oxytocin levels.
- Adults who receive massage have lower heart rates, lower blood pressure, lower levels of stress hormones and are healthier. Children who receive massage are more socially mature, calmer, less aggressive and have fewer physical complaints. Premature babies gain weight faster if they are massaged gently.
Here’s to your health and vitality!
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