Stroking, cuddling, caressing; they are good for us. When our skin is touched, something wonderful happens in our brains. A certain substance is formed, the hormone oxytocin. It is pronounced ‘ok-see-toe-sin’, with the emphasis on the “toe”. It’s always fun to pronounce such a strange word. But it is more than a strange word. It turns out that this hormone has a very positive effect on us and can even determine our feelings of happiness! I just had to know more about this!
Oxytocin, the happiness hormone!
It turns out that this hormone has a great effect on our brains. It causes relaxation, it softens pain and it gives us feelings of happiness. In addition, it also reduces blood pressure and allows stress to disappear from our bodies. Hey, that is fantastic! Give me a whole bucket full, every day! It strengthens your bonds with your partner, loved ones and friends. And it lowers stress, makes you more resilient against becoming addicted and it helps you to feel full more quickly when eating. Your body recharges more quickly and fear is more easily suppressed (Source: Wikipedia.).
Where is it made?
Oxytocin is formed in the Hypothalamus. This is a large, gray lobe in the center of your brain. The Hypothalamus is extremely important because it produces many hormones that are essential for our entire well-being.
When is oxytocin produced?
Now for what’s most important. What causes your body to produce it? Your body does this when it experiences pain, such as during a woman’s labor or if you experience pain during sports. Your body produces oxytocin, enabling you to deal better with the pain and discomfort. You also produce more oxytocin during pleasant contact with your skin, such as when hugging and during intercourse, and oxytocin is released during an orgasm!
What I find remarkable is that oxytocin is produced when people look at each other! Partners, parents, children and friends strengthen the bond with each other by looking into each other’s eyes. This is useful when a relationship is not so strong!
Strengthening the bond between people
Dr. Uvnäs-Moberg from Sweden studied oxytocin and wrote a clearly-written book about it, “The Oxytocin Factor: Tapping the Hormone of Calm, Love, and Healing.“ She says that if we want to be healthy, to counteract stress, we have to pay attention to relaxation and leisure. At the opposite of much stress should be just as much relaxation and leisure. This means pleasant skin contact, for example hugging, massages, making love, masturbating and also petting our pets. In many hospitals and care homes, pets are regularly used for this reason: they are obviously good for people!
Maintaining intimate relationships
In relationships, oxytocin helps people to continue to feel connected with each other and to create a bond. If touching disappears from a relationship, people feel less intimately bonded with each other. Many people forget to ask their partner, “Would you hold me?”. This can be enough to renew the connection between them again.
The MIR-Method and oxytocin
Naturally, I didn’t realize this while developing the MIR-Method, but while stroking your hand this also happens. You stroke your hand, slowly and lovingly, and oxytocin is released in your brain. Just stroking causes a positive reaction throughout your entire body. Always take the 2 minutes’ time for yourself and always do all 9 steps. That small moment of attention does a lot of good to your body and for your feelings of happiness. Do it! It’s especially good for people who experience a lot of stress and little relaxation. For people who are alone and seldom get touched. And people who are out of touch with themselves because of stress or strong emotions. Stroking your hand brings you in touch with yourself again.
And how about you? Have you noticed that stroking your hand is good for you? I hope so. I’d love to hear about it from you! Please share your answer below. Thank you!
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My wish for you is that your feelings of happiness will be nourished well and often!
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