We all know that our health is very dependent on what we eat and drink, however research also shows that we need to consider the impact of our emotions and how they affect our hormones, and therefore our health.
You may have heard about oxytocin before, it’s the hormone that is released during birth and oxytocin’s nickname – “the love hormone” – is well earned: you release this ‘cuddle hormone’ when you hug someone, cuddle your pet, do a good deed, or share a meal.
Dr David Hamilton has done a fascinating study reviewing the latest research into how kindness and compassion cause a contagious effect, from one person to the next.
The research demonstrates that kindness, compassion and affection from someone else will send a rush of oxytocin through your bloodstream, a bit like eating a handful of blueberries.
Even thinking about someone who loves us or someone we deeply care for, is enough to activate the release of oxytocin in the brain and that’s why it’s known as the feel good hormone.
What else can oxytocin do for you and why would you want more?
1. It immediately and directly lowers your blood pressure
2. It reverses the effects of stress on your body.
3. It increases a person’s friendliness and desire to connect – the idea that kindness is contagious.
This is the season of goodwill so share a little kindness and affection as it can go a long way – you feel good and so does the other person, pass the good feelings along this year and improve your own health.
The effects of this natural love potion is amplified by oestrogen – one reason women tend to be more physically demonstrative than men (particularly during the high oestrogen days of the month when they’re ovulating) and are generally more affected by touch.
Oestrogen tends to decline during and after menopause, make sure you take steps to ensure you continue to benefit from this life enhancing hormone.
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