16 Aug Prescription for Feelings
Oxytocin: The Love Hormone
By Business Motivational Speaker and Smile Aficionado Darryl Davis
Last week I shared little bit about what chemicals in our body fire up our good feelings and help us design lives worth smiling about. In that blog, we talked about Dopamine: The Motivational Chemical. This week let’s talk about the LOVE chemical: oxytocin.
Oxytocin is referred to as the “love hormone.” It activates your ability to trust, act more generously, and become more social with others. It is associated with bonding. It can be released by a physical action like holding hands, but it is also released when there is a perceived type of bonding, such as your comments being “liked” on a social media network. (You folks who are my Facebook friends had no idea that you were my oxytocin dealers, did you?) Even being part of a crowd at a concert or sports arena promotes this “belonging” chemical. To help you remember what Oxytocin is, think of the o as meaning “Others.”
Bonding Agent: Did you know that oxytocin also plays a role in childbirth? Large amounts are released during labor, during a mother’s first contact with her newborn, and during breast feeding. I can’t think of a more powerful example of bonding than that. When you smile at someone and get a smile back—whether it is from a loved one or a stranger—you will get a dose of oxytocin as your urge to belong and connect with others is fulfilled. This is true in the office as well as in your personal life. For instance, if you smile while you’re negotiating with another business person, you’ll achieve better results because you’re building trust and triggering the release of a healthy dose of oxytocin for you both.
Generosity Booster: I loved this… “According to a 2007 study in Public Library of Science ONE journal, participants inhaled oxytocin or a placebo through their noses and then were given a decision on how to split the money with a stranger. Those on oxytocin were 80% percent more generous, researchers said, and the hormone seemed to affect their sense of altruism as well.”
Here’s the thing: We are hard-wired with what we need to be happy. Our bodies are constantly mixing up a chemical cocktail for us to help us find more joy, relieve stress, and connect with the people we care about. Listen to it. Help it along. Start by smiling. It’s good for the body, soul, and business.
Watch for more posts about the chemicals that keep us smiling.
To learn more about transforming your life and accomplishing extraordinary things, check out my book How to Design a Life Worth Smiling About, or invite me in for your next event to get the skinny on bringing a #SMILEDOSE into your business! I’d love to hear from you!