If you’ve read my previous post about making your mornings happier by making time for a good hug with someone, then you’ll have an idea of how amazing this happy hormone is!
Oxytocin has some real super powers, like boosting your immune system, reducing anxiety and lowering your blood pressure. So, how can we all get more of the good stuff?
Here are 6 ways to get you started on getting more oxytocin in your day:
Basically, any kind of physical contact is great for getting the oxytocin flowing, but the more you do it the better, so a nice long hug from a loved one, a 5 minute snuggle on the sofa with your cat or a pampering hour spent having a massage should do the trick!
2) Give some money away.
Studies have found that showing compassion in a visceral way (so, doing it because your gut feeling about it is good, rather than there being a logical explanation for doing it), like giving money away, is linked to higher levels of oxytocin.
So you might have a charity that you just feel an affinity with – go donate a bit of money to them. Or, for a real feel-good hit, hide some money about town for strangers to find, random-acts-of-kindness-style!
3) ‘Like’ some of your friends’ post and photos on Facebook.
In the same way that hugging releases oxytocin, so do all sorts of other kinds of social interaction, including getting stuck in to a good Facebook session.
Researchers have found that we get a dose of oxytocin after spending time on Facebook and Twitter, most likely down to the fact that ‘liking’ and commenting on our friends’ photos and status updates makes us feel more connected to them,
4) Go for a walk outside.
This one shouldn’t be a surprise, we’ve been told time and time again how great gentle exercise is for boosting our moods. And studies have shown that going for a walk outside in nature is associated with increased levels of oxytocin. If you’re feeling more adventurous, then grab a friend and go exploring – it’s been found that going on adventures with people helps to make us feel more bonded to them!
5) Listen to some soothing music.
Ok, so this one is also quite logical, I mean, taking some time out and listening to soothing music is bound to make you feel relaxed! And the reason it makes you relaxed, is because it prompts the body to produce more oxytocin!
There was a study carried out on patients who were recovering from open heart surgery, that found that when they listened to soothing music there was an increase in the levels of oxytocin in their blood. Meaning they were less stressed and healed more quickly – pretty amazing.
6) Eat some eggs and a banana.
Eggs and bananas have both been linked with increased levels of oxytocin. So, scrambled eggs followed by a banana for breakfast will set you up for a great day! Or you could give these banana pancakes a try for the same effect, and you get bonus happy points if you add some chocolate chips for a dopamine hit!
If you like this post, then you might also like these:
6 reasons to squeeze more hugs into each day
Try this one little trick to start your day feeling happy