On one of Deepak Chopra’s meditation challenges, I heard him say “Abundance is all around us, and it’s free for the asking.” He was talking about flowers, fauna, blue sky, water–nature in general.
And THAT is also how you can increase your oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the “love” or “happy” hormone.
Let’s face it: With those hormone havoc challenges can come some pretty awful mood swings.
Following is an article I wrote for Creations Magazine (www.creationsmagazine.com) on Long Island, NY. It’ll tell you all about this wonderful hormone.
The soul suffers when the body is diseased or traumatized, while the body suffers when the soul is ailing – Aristotle
As a health coach who specializes in natural hormone balance, one of the first things I advise clients is to increase their “love hormone,” oxytocin, especially if they’re experiencing mood swings and stress.
It’s completely natural, free, and readily available—but make no mistake: It’s also powerful, acting as a brain neurotransmitter that can gives you an overall feeling of well being. It’s sometimes even called the “trust hormone,” so any social anxiety is alleviated.
Oxytocin, which is particularly responsive to touch, is boosted during sex or childbirth, but you can access it in other ways, such as playing with animals or babies, hugging or shaking hands, gardening, dancing, seeing a friend, getting a massage, etc. If you live near a park, and the weather is nice, sit for a while and meditate.
Lowers cortisol. In small doses, cortisol, the “fight or flight” hormone, is okay. It gets us ready to flee from danger or get ready for that big test or event, but it creates havoc when it’s out of balance, resulting in: sleeplessness, exhaustion, weight gain, anxiety, negative thinking, and more. Balance is key, especially with hormones, so a healthy dose of oxytocin will help counteract excess cortisol.
Makes you laugh. Because you’re happy, you laugh and smile more—and smiles are one way to increase immunity. Oxytocin also supports serotonin, a chemical that stabilizes moods and affects every part of the body, from emotions to motor skills, so you’ll get a boost there, too.
Gives you a stronger sense of community. Oxytocin reduces social fears and stress, says the National Institutes of Health, in turn building self-esteem, trust, optimism, and better communication. That means better relationships; recent studies show that loneliness and social isolation are as dangerous to health as obesity, says Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Makes you happier. Many of us have heard the term, “amygdala hijack.” The amygdala is the part of the brain that controls emotions. When it is not functioning properly, i.e., “amygdala hijack,” depression, anxiety, fear, excessive stress and more occur. However, oxytocin calms the amygdala so you can control your emotions and fears. That said, it’s only natural that you’d lean harder into your joy, giving you faith, assertiveness, self-possession and trust.
You’re more productive. Happy brains just work better, and much of that is because of the chemicals released by our thoughts. In an article in Psychology Today, it is explained that focusing on negative thoughts releases substances that slow the brain, possibly minimizing its ability to function. On the other hand, when we think uplifting and positive thoughts, it decreases cortisol and produces serotonin, which creates a sense of well being, helps us sleep and even helps us manage appetite.
Today’ s world can hand us a lot of stressors, and a lot of things can create that “mean girl” syndrome, including food, lifestyle and a lack of self-care. With some intention and a few tweaks to food and lifestyle, that “mean girl” will disappear forever.
ABOUT IRENE ROSS
Irene Ross is a health coach specializing in natural hormonal balance. A graduate of the
Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), she conducts both private and group sessions.
Irene’s mission is to “rid the world of all those hormone stereotypes—one pill at a time.”