4. Spend time with loved ones
Whenever we talk or travel together with like-minded people or loved ones or anyone with whom you can share anything or everything, oxytocin is produced. You can experience similar effects in a good social event or even business meetings (provided you have an emotional connection with people there).
Oxytocin is a superb bonding agent so it also shows up when you do something good for others or when someone does a good deed for you.
5. Practise yoga
Yoga not just accelerates mind-body awareness, but increases blood levels of oxytocin. This was first highlighted in the study from the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, involving schizophrenia patients receiving yoga therapy.
Besides improvement in the endogenous plasma oxytocin levels, these patients showed a better ability to recognize emotions and socio-occupational functioning, which is usually impaired in schizophrenia. However, there is a need for more studies showing a clear correlation and link between the findings.
6. Try meditation
There is a bulk of literature available on the physical and mental health benefits of meditation. But, meditation too can pump up oxytocin levels in the body, is a little known fact for many people.
The next time you sit for meditation, focus on someone you love immensely. You can also call this process loving-kindness meditation because in this practice you direct your thoughts towards love, peace, goodness, and compassion towards your loved ones. As a result, you will experience less stress and more compassion towards yourself and others.
Mindfulness meditation activates the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal )-axis via the amygdala and the paraventricular nucleus, leading to the release of oxytocin in the brain.
7. Help someone
The Bible taught us “Be kind to one another…..” Isn’’t it?
But, it didn’t mention that being kind and helping someone promote oxytocin release in the body. As per the study published in the Journal of Hormones and Behavior, any sort of charitable work improves health by increasing oxytocin levels. That explains why we feel euphoric and positive when helping the needy, guiding someone on the right path, making a sad person smile, donating a few extra dollars for charity, giving gifts, or indulging in any random act of kindness.
You will feel glad to know that being nice to others also releases two more happiness chemicals – dopamine and serotonin – according to research by Dr. IsHak. When you are generous and happy, you build a better community!
Now that it is scientifically proven, would you mind doing something nice for someone?
8. Play with dog
We love dogs and dogs love us. And oxytocin is at the heart of this bond. Human-animal interactions activate the oxytocinergic system. Various studies on human-animal bonds confirmed that interaction with dogs can spike the production of oxytocin levels in our body as well as in dogs.
In a 2000 study focused on animal-assisted therapy, an increase in plasma oxytocin was found in humans after 5–24 min of petting. In a 2012 study, biologist Linda Handlin found that owners of Labrador retrievers have higher levels of oxytocin (the hormone safety and trust) and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
This is why pets promote mental health and are being recommended for patients suffering from anxiety and depression.
9. Improve the quality of your conversation
Oxytocin is a connection hormone and when you engage in activities that make you feel loved, valued, connected, the level of the hormone increases.
A good quality conversation is something that happens between parents and children, best friends, lovers, and like-minded people. It enhances social bonding, interaction and relationships.
Active listening is the best way to make your conversations count. When you give your complete attention to people when they are pouring their heart out, the close interaction triggers oxytocin, making you and your friend feel more connected to each other.