Why Telling Someone that You “Love Them” or Giving Them a Big Hug Has Great Health Benefits!
Oxytocin is produced everyday and flows whenever we love, cuddle or show kindness to someone else and is even produced when we bond with our pets. In fact levels of oxytocin increase in the animal and the human when we play with them and studies have shown the benefits on your heart by owning a dog. Patients recovering after spending time in a cardiac unit for example had a 400% better survival rate when they interacted with dogs. Amazing that animals help us produce oxytocin and we help them produce it too and I am sure there are a lot of dog owners who see their pet as one of the family and love and cherish them as much as other family members. Looks like the feeling is works both ways!.
Oxytocin also has the following amazing benefits on our health when it is produced.
1. Makes People More Attractive! – As funny as it sounds, in a study one group were given a shot of oxytocin and were shown photos of men and women and were asked to rate their attractiveness. A different group were given a placebo (saline solution) and were shown the same photos and asked to rate them. The oxytocin group rated the men and women much higher than the saline group.
2. Makes us More Generous – In a study where the brain was studied while people were deciding how much money to share out, the group who were given a shot of oxytocin before sharing the money were 80% more generous than the group who were given the saline placebo.
3. Makes us more Trusting – By giving a shot of oxytocin to half of a group they were found to be significantly more trusting than the group given saline. 45% of the oxytocin group showed maximum trust levels compared to the saline group who showed 21% of maximum trust levels.
4. Improves Digestion – Oxytocin plays an important part in digesting food and those who have low levels of oxytocin experience problems with their digestive system which can cause tummy problems and there is even a link between IBS and oxytocin. By sharing a meal with loved ones or sharing a hug before and after eating could improve digestive health.
5. Speeds up Wound Healing – Wounds take longer to heal if you are under stress which is linked to lower levels of oxytocin. In a study of couples, wounds took 40% longer to heal in those who were arguing with each other compared to those who were in a loving relationship.
6. Good for the Heart – Oxytocin is great for the heart as it is a cardioprotective hormone which means it protects the cardiovascular system. It does this by dilating the blood vessels which in turn lowers the blood pressure and also flushes out free radicals and inflammation out of the arteries.
So a simple kiss or cuddle and showing affection to a loved one can have amazing benefits on your health and help lower your stress levels and keep us feeling more contented. Don’t forget International Kissing Day on 6 July to pucker up and get the love hormone surging too !!.