As winter approaches, the sun sets earlier, the weather begins to become colder, immune systems are weakened and a change in overall emotions may make a turn negatively. Have no fear, winter is here along with a new drug.
Oxytocin, the natural love drug, has hit the streets and everyone is raving about it. Oxytocin has been called the ” trust hormone.” Activities such as hugging, kissing, sex, child birth and breast feeding, in most cases, create a rise in oxytocin levels. This mammalian neurohypophysial hormone , is produced by the hypothalamus and is naturally occurring in most monogamous species. Oxytocin is stored as well as secreted by the posterior pituitary gland.
The human body is a wonderful and complex organism. As researchers began to study the brain, they found this fascinating hormone and wondered in what other ways can we as a species benefit from said findings. Many mothers have been given oxytocin in dosages under the brand name of Pitocin. The discovery of oxytocin’s ability has not stopped here. Increased oxytocin is amplified by estrogen, making the user behave in ways that seek bonding. Many psychologist call this prosocial behavior. More research must be done, however, the future for oxytocin is looking lovely.
As stated, oxytocin is a naturally occurring hormone. Therefor, most people can secrete the natural love drug. No, that is not a euphemism. There are ways to release oxytocin that do not directly include making babies. These methods are thinking about or looking at someone you love, play with your pets, hug someone deeply that you care for, kiss your partner, express gratitude and smile.
If you have been feeling down during these cold days, warm up next to someone! Cuddle in the name of science.
” For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.” – Carl Sagan