OXYTOCIN is a hormone and it is often called the “love hormone” because of its crucial role found in relationships, social bonding, maternal behaviour and intimacy. Oxytocin spikes are found to be the highest during an orgasm or during an act of kindness.
Oxytocin is a powerful hormone and a neuropeptide that is produced in the hypothalamus and also secreted from the Pituitary Gland. Oxytocin was discovered in 1952 and is currently listed on WHO – World Health Organization’s list of Essential Medicines (the most important medication needed for healthier function of human health system.)
An example of oxytocin is when two individuals are attracted to each other and the feelings of care and compassion arise, that’s all because of the rising levels of oxytocin, which we further call Love.
Why is this hormone so important?
Well, this one hormone has the power to change the world and we literally mean it .
Here is a study to back this claim. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, when we perform acts of kindness, the giver and the receiver both were found to have spiked levels of oxytocin and the individual watching this act of kindness also reported the spiked oxytocin level.
In a recent study in New England Journal of Medicine a 28 year old person walked into a clinic and donated a kidney. This set off a “pay it forward” ripple where the recipient’s family further donated their kidneys to someone in need and this domino effect eventually helped 10 people who received kidneys as a consequence of that anonymous donor.
Its very similar to the pebble that creates waves when it’s dropped in a pond. The act of kindness ripples outwards touching many lives and inspiring the wave of kindness.
Why should you care about this hormone?
Besides the fact the it makes you fall in love and is responsible for feelings of care and compassion.
Oxytocin exposure has also been studied to reduce social anxiety and fear.
In 2015 a study conducted by Monika Exckstein and Benjamin Becker at the University of Bonn in Germany. Their aim was to prove that Oxytocin Facilitates the Extinction of Conditioned Fear in Humans.
This study had 62 participants in randomized, double blind and placebo controlled design. These individuals were exposed to the fear conditioning paradigm by showing them photographs of faces and houses but they were accompanied by random electric shocks. Since, these photographs were non threatening and were neutral in nature, the brain couldn’t respond with presupposed fear.
30 min later they received brain scans and and the activity in their amygdala was recorded. The group was now given a mix of placebo and oxytocin nasal sprays.
Then 30 mins later they were exposed to the same photos of faces and houses but without an electric shock. The subjects who received the oxytocin spray when shown the same photos as before without the electric shock, had increased activity in the prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain responsible for controlling fear.) Therefore their brain controlled their fear significantly better than the placebo group.
Those of you who are interested in knowing how to apply oxytocin and its ways in your business, team or an organization should look for the Ofactor study from Drucker Institute.
According to the Drucker Institute and quote
“ when managers implement policies that raise trust, colleagues at work have the incentives and resources to perform better, boosting organizational performance. The neuroscience provides precise predictions for how to best practice Ovation (give praise), build eXpectations (set clear goals) and promote the other OXYTOCIN factors.”
Now for your personal use If applied effectively under the supervision of a physician Oxytocin can increase trust, reduce anxiety and fear, promote a ripple effect of kindness. Any Creative, Entrepreneur or Athlete looking for an edge by building better personal relationships, stronger business connections, and larger fan bases must first start with an act of kindness, give more hugs and cuddle if possible (just in appropriate places please).
You can also talk to your physician if you think you have low levels of Oxytocin. But please do not take oxytocin on your own because excess use of this hormone has been linked with autism.
So, love everyone and try to spread the ripple of compassion and kindness and we can all collectively change this world.