Anyone would agree that happiness is perhaps one of the most important goals of our lives. Barring a few who may rank money success or fame, which also is only perhaps the means to it, happiness matters. Our brain has several ways of signalling that we are happy, one of which includes the release of the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin has therefore also been called the love hormone, the cuddle chemical and the moral molecule. In studies conducted, an increased level of oxytocin has been shown to elevate fidelity in men, increase trust, psychological stability, reduce stress and anxiety, affect generosity and empathy, bonding and learning.
Oxytocin is made in the brain in the hypothalamus and acts both as a hormone and a brain transmitter. To naturally stimulate the release of this hormone, experts recommend being touched, going for a massage, meditating and eating foods high in saturated fats or Omega 3. Experts also suggest working on developing your brain which is believed to stimulate the production of oxytocin.
We live in a world that has several challenges and human beings respond in myriad ways to perceived threats, real or imagined. Conflict is a part of our lives no matter who you are and what you do. With technology changing our capacity to cause harm on a daily basis, the threat that we pose to each other is a real and present danger. Perhaps, more studies should be conducted on how we can safely stimulate the release of oxytocin in human beings both naturally and clinically. There are medications out there that stimulate this hormone though some of them have been taken off the market. There may be something to the adage hug your friend or neighbour after all.