People often talk about oxytocin as the “love” hormone, but its advantages go far beyond the warm and fuzzy: Oxytocin has super-powered health benefits for the physical heart, as well as the emotional!
The primary cue for the release of the neuropeptide oxytocin is pretty basic: skin-to-skin contact with other human beings. This brings a whole new level of importance of being loving to your friends and family: A simple hug could literally improve your health and longevity.
Here are the top three ways oxytocin may keep you healthy:
- Oxytocin Regulates Heart Function: The hormone helps keep your heart beating steady and true. No matter your age or health level, the stability of a strong heart is paramount.
- Oxytocin Reduces Cell Death & Inflammation in the Heart: If you’ve had heart health challenges, the presence of oxytocin can help support your recovery and ongoing heart wellness.
- Oxytocin Feels Good: Oxytocin is the hormone most closely attributed to the feelings of love and trust. Oxytocin may also help to reduce levels of cortisol, the hormone responsible for physiological and emotional sensations of stress. Plain and simple—it just feels good. The more oxytocin flowing in your body, the more likely you are to feel a sense of peace and wellbeing.
So what are you waiting for? Reach out and touch somebody! (And if there’s no one close by, cuddling a pet won’t hurt in the meantime—it’s been scientifically proven.)