Oxytocin plays a role in some of the most important moments in our lives. From labour and birth to friendships and relationships, Oxytocin accompanies our positive interactions with one another.
For this reason oxytocin has been dubbed the ‘bonding hormone’.
Ok, so what is oxytocin?
Oxytocin is a small peptide that is produced within the hypothalamus part of the brain, and then released into the bloodstream by the pituitary gland. From there it binds to oxytocin receptors in the body to influence our behaviour and feelings.
When does it kick in?
Oxytocin is release in response to activation of sensory nerves – in particular during labour, breastfeeding and sexual activity.
But even lower intensity stimulation – think gentle touch, stroking or warm temperatures – can result in a release of oxytocin.
Can we increase our oxytocin levels?
As well as the oxytocin triggers we have discussed above, there are other smaller ways that we may be able to boost our levels day to day. In doing so we may also increase our feelings of warmth and empathy towards others.
Why not try some of these:
- Put down your phone during conversations so you can look people in the eye and really connect with them.
- Give someone a gift. Giving and receiving gifts is another way to show you care.
- Make sure to tell the people you love how you feel about them.
- Share a meal with people. Spending quality time with people we care about can boost connection.
Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb with multiple health benefits. It can reduce anxiety and stress, help fight depression, boost fertility and testosterone in men, and even boost brain function.
Supplementing with ashwagandha may be an easy and effective way to improve your health and quality of life.