Oxytocin is a hormone that helps relax and reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels. It increases pain thresholds, has anti anxiety effects, and stimulates various types of positive social interaction. In addition, it promotes growth and healing.
Over the counter, without a prescription
There are no over the counter products that have the actual hormone since that is not allowed by the FDA. Products that are sold over the counter that claim to have oxytocin are not to be trusted. Oxytocin nasal spray is availble by prescription.
A 2016 small study found in spray form, the “love hormone” oxytocin might aid weight loss. A single dose of oxytocin nasal spray decreased impulsive behavior in overweight and obese men. However, the benefits and risks of long term use of this spray is not well understood and it is possible tolerance could develop.
HERE ARE 10 WAYS TO INCREASE OXYTOCIN LEVELS IN YOUR BODY:
1. PHYSICAL TOUCH.
Hugs, kisses, and cuddling increase oxytocin levels quickly. As per WebMd a research on oxytocin and how men react to sex showed that under the influence of oxytocin, two areas of the brain responsible for feelings of reward and pleasure lit up when men saw their partner’s faces. But the sight of other women had the opposite effect, suppressing feelings of pleasure. Oxytocin triggers a reward system that activates and releases when we are in loving relationships. Physical touch is stimulating. Oxytocin is released when you have an orgasm and for men it is only released when it is with someone they love.
2. LISTEN ACTIVELY.
When you listen with all of your senses, you signal to your brain that this person can be trusted. The influx of oxytocin will help you to feel connected to them, and will increase the feelings of “love”.
3. SMILE AND LAUGH.
Oxytocin may increase one’s ability to remember happy smiling faces but I have not seen studies yet that smiling itself increases one’s oxytocin levels.
This “love hormone” has a tremendous effect on kids’ ability to function socially. Children blessed with naturally high levels of oxytocin are more savvy at communicating with others and interpreting social signals or situations
4. WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT.
When we hear a compliment we feel good about ourselves. We believe we are being loved and held in high esteem. Oxytocin works on this level as well. The “feel good” hormone increases when we are caring and compassionate with another, or vice versa. Words have a powerful frequency. When we feel loved and we relate to it oxytocin increases. The same goes to giving a compliment to another. The kindness you put out into the world also increases oxytocin.
5. OXYTOCIN REDUCES FEAR.
Animal and human studies indicate the major role of the amygdala in controlling fear and anxiety. The amygdala is involved in detecting threat stimuli and linking them to defensive behaviors. This is accomplished by projections connecting the central nucleus of the amygdala to the brain stem and to hypothalamic structures, which organize fear responses. Oxytocin tempers the excitatory inputs into the amygdala.
6. MEDITATE AND PRAY.
When you are clear-headed and relaxed your hormones are balance. Oxytocin increases when you are not under the fight or flight mode. Prayer and meditation allow the mind to detach from stress. It lowers blood pressure and allows the body to feel balanced. Mind, body and spirit find a way to connect. Make time for it at some point in the day. You can do it for five minutes anywhere.
7. GIVE A GIFT.
Studies have proven that receiving gifts is a highly effective way to increase oxytocin levels. The best way to receive gifts: give them to others, and they’ll be far more likely to return the favor!
8. GET CREATIVE.
Creativity helps de-stress the mental mind. While you are creating you aren’t worrying or fearing anything. As you paint, draw, sew, journal, write, play an instrument, or anything that takes you out of a normal routine, you are allowing the good hormones to take over in the brain. Endorphins are released and oxytocin is charged up. Making time to use your talents is imperative to inducing joy.
9. GET A PET.
Animals have a way of calming us. You enter the house and your cat and dog are anxiously waiting for you to give them love. The same effect that oxytocin has on touching another person, works on petting your animals. Research shows that just touching your pets lowers your blood pressure and increases your oxytocin levels.
10. GET HUGS EVERY DAY
Some suggest you need as many as 12 hugs a day to build your immune system, but it also helps your oxytocin. For the more ambitious, learn the difference between giving and getting a hug.