How to Increase Oxytocin Levels1

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Hug someone.,
Offer affectionate touch.,
Have sex.,
Spend quality time with your partner.,
Share words of encouragement with another person.,
Smile.,
Give an animal some love.

Even a 20-second hug with your partner, a friend, or someone you care about can boost your oxytocin level. Offer or ask for a hug for a quick pick-me-up.Even if you’re arguing with a loved one, pausing to hug can increase feelings of trust and empathy, and maybe make your disagreement easier to handle.
Regularly hugging your partner helps you bond, and can even decrease your blood pressure and heart rate.;
, If hugging isn’t your thing, there are many ways to offer affectionate touch that increase your oxytocin. Hold hands with a loved one, cuddle, pet your child’s hair, kiss, or hold onto your friend’s arm while you walk.Stand close to each other, when you can. Physical proximity increases oxytocin – which may even promote fidelity between partners., A healthy sex life often correlates with higher wellbeing and happiness for both women and men. Having sex – in a healthy, consensual environment – boosts your oxytocin level. It can help you de-stress and promote feelings of warmth and trust between you and your partner.You may get an extra oxytocin boost if you have an orgasm, but if you don’t, it’s okay – you’ll still get the positive benefits of sex with a loving partner., Not all affection with your partner has to be physical to boost oxytocin. Share bonding moments together to accomplish the same thing – quality time, arousal, and wellbeing are all linked in terms of your hormones. Find a way to carve some special time out of your week to bond with your partner.Try doing a workout together to get the added hormone boost from exercise! Go on a bike ride, a run, swim together, or go to the park and throw around a Frisbee or football.
Do a jigsaw puzzle together, or work on a crossword or Sudoku – something collaborative and stress-free.
Go on an adventure together – explore a new part of your town you’ve never been to, or take a day trip!
Do a home-improvement project together. Plant a tree, weed the garden, repaint your bedroom, or build something for your yard like a bench or birdhouse.
Prepare and share a healthy meal together.Do something moderately stressful like riding a roller coaster or sky diving – this is a great bonding experience, and moderately stressful activities cause a spike in oxytocin., Kind words may be as powerful as touch when it comes to oxytocin. Whether you are giving or receiving a compliment or words of encouragement, you get an oxytocin boost. Call up your best friend or a family member, or even express kind words to a co-worker – you’ll improve their day, and get a mood boost yourself.Be genuine – empty words won’t accomplish anything. Dig deep and find a true, positive sentiment to express.
Spend time with friends and loved ones whenever possible, but also stay connected with those who are far away. Even loving emails, text messages, and Facebook comments help you feel supported and cared for, and boost oxytocin and mood., Even when you’re in a bad mood, smiling can make you feel better – even if you force it. Smiling and laughing boost your oxytocin and can improve your overall health. If you feel terrible, fake it! Often the hormone boost will turn your fake smile into a real one.Tell someone your favorite joke or a story that always makes you laugh.
Pull out your phone and look at that cute picture of your dog, cat, or child that always brings a smile to your face.
Watch your favorite goofy movie and giggle a little.
Smile at strangers.

, If you can, get a pet. Just playing with or petting your dog or cat causes an increase in oxytocin. If you’re an “animal person,” sharing cuddles with someone else’s pet may do the same. Or spend some time being charitable by volunteering at your local animal shelter as a dog walker. There’s often a position called “animal socializer,” who just pets cats and dogs all day long! This is healthy for you and a great kindness to them.Make frequent eye contact with your dog – studies show this boosts your oxytocin, and your dog’s oxytocin, too! Gazing into each other’s eyes promotes the same kind of bonding, and chemical response, as mothers and babies looking into each other’s eyes.

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