I want to keep this week's post real simple, because it's come to my attention that we need more deliveries of Oxytocin. I want you to look back to the moments you hold special, tuck close to your heart such as after you gave birth to your children. The moments where you'd get lost in their smells, their soft skin, and you would feel profound love opening inside of you.
Some of that love may have been scary, but more often than not it just felt like a really warm shot of comfort running through your body, your heart, your soul. That my love, that is Oxytocin.
This sweet hormone is deeply woven into your biology, especially you moms.
Oxytocin is a wonder drug and we have access to it 24/7. Oxytocin is the hormone released from a tiny gland in the brain. It moves you to feeling soft, loving, and trusting. It is the feeling you get from a good friendship, the one you can't wait to share your secrets with. We can never have enough Oxytocin in our bodies, it is not toxic. As I spent the first five days of the year, leading up to my birthday, soul-planning and doing physical & mental business planning, I was reminded how much I want to feel the presence of "Oxytocic People" in 2014. Basically, here is a list of how Oxytocin serves us:
- It is the reason we like to snuggle, make love, be intimate or even "hug it out."
- A handshake delivers Oxytocin, and this physical contact can actually ensure that an agreement or deal will go really well.
- Safety. The more Oxytocin in your body, the safer you feel as a human being.
- After childbirth and during the initial days of the postpartum period, it is the hormone responsible for creating the mother/child bond. It is both released at birth and with breastfeeding, actually it's a very important part of the healing process from childbirth.
- When you express acts of human generosity, which means to sacrifice a little time and energy and expect nothing in return, it helps with the production, storage and reserve build up of Oxytocin in your body. Not only do you benefit from the release of Oxytocin when you give your time and energy, but so does the recipient of your kind gesture and all those that witness it.
- Helps people know and feel how much you value their presence in your life.
Let me focus a bit on the human generosity bit. Let's say you deliver flowers to your Oxytocic friend after they celebrate a big success, and they post the picture of your "act" on Facebook with a note of love and gratitude. All the people who see your post and comment or like it are also receiving a shot of Oxytocin. Witnessing, simply seeing, someone helping another human delivers oxytocin to your body (I think that part of biology is incredible and profound). Because of your act of generosity, there are more Oxytocic people walking around your community...More good people. More loving people. More people willing to sacrifice their personal time to do an act of generosity themselves for another person. It's truly the best kind of contagion we could imagine.
Building Oxytocin up in your body takes time, however. The more you repeat behaviors that are in your best interest (like hugging, loving, laughing, intimacy and acts of generosity) the more Oxytocin you have in your body. Incredibly, the more Oxytocin you have in your body, the more you want to do for yourself and others, MORE often.
Lots of oxytocin in your body does the following for you:
- It inhibits addiction.
- It boosts your immune system.
- It makes you happier - thus helping you live longer.
- It makes couples happier, and happy couples they live longer than unhappy couples (duh).
- It increases your ability to problem solve.
- It improves your creativity.
So create and build that reserve by taking small risks and making small acts of love, generosity, kindness over and over and over again with regularity. Create relationships with other people who do the same for you, build your tribe of Oxytocic friends
Oxytocic people, who are they? They are the people you feel safe with, the ones who bring love and inspiration to your life. They are the ones who support you through success and triumph, as well as failure and devastation.
Oxytocic people do favors without asking. They stop and ask if they can help when you're stuck in a ditch.
Oxytocic people have faults too, but they prefer feel good and joy over suffering and struggle.
When you start building this community, you will feel that sense of "coming home." For most of us, the sense of home that we've created in our adult lives is a precious and joyful place. It brings us ease, and delivers - you guessed it - more Oxytocin!!
This leaves me wondering...How do you build up Oxytocin in your life? Do you surrounding yourself with Oxytocic people? How do you tell/express/show your loved ones how they are of value to you? Help me out and tell me your secrets.
Sending shots of Oxytocin to all of you today and hope you have a truly warm and lovely week.