Oxytocin is a hormone and a neurotransmitter that controls the reproductive system and the behaviour of a person. It is scientifically known that oxytocin is very crucial in enabling and enhancing our social capacities as humans to connect and be in a relationship, be it romantic or non-romantic, for individual as well as for collective purpose. According to what have been studied, without this it would really hard to imagine how humanity can thrive and cooperate with each other, and even way harder to think how we can establish trust and understanding on each other. However, paradoxically, oxytocin bonds people together but it cannot alter the fact that humans still have the tendency to distrust or even be hostile to one another. It is believed that oxytocin is also causing this opposite feeling so in this sense oxytocin still needs further studies so we can truly understand it. Still, despite of its flaws as a neurochemical, it is still worth exploring how amazing oxytocin is.
The role of oxytocin in human altruism and compassion
Oxytocin has been found to help increase kindness in humans. In some studies, oxytocin was observed to help generate empathic feelings, one of the reasons humans and other animals help and care for others. This generosity in animal and human characters has long been a fascination for many scientists especially in the field of biology, sociology, and psychology. The result of the study was stunningly remarkable and oxytocin was believed to be the reason why majority of the participants displayed high level of generosity. In addition, oxytocin was also learned to help trigger confidence, sense of hopefulness, and trust; overcoming the mind’s tendency to fear and hate therefore helping in establishing bonds and cooperation; things that are essential for a successful and fruitful society.
Oxytocin as anti-stress and anti-depressant
Many experts believe that oxytocin contributes a lot in fighting anxiety and depression. In some studies, women with postpartum syndrome, usually during and after pregnancy, observed to have low levels of oxytocin, causing depression and other hormonal imbalances. However, it is obvious that we don’t need experts to prove that oxytocin really plays a role in the natural resistance in our bodies. For sure most of us have experienced the therapeutic power of physical intimacy (hugging and cuddling), not only with humans but also with animals. This is the reason why most animals love to be hugged and cuddled. In connection to the feelings of trust if produces, oxytocin helps reduce stress, therefor reduces anxieties. This is because it helps lower cortisol in our body and also neutralizes our blood pressure; thus, helping to keep our body in a normal relaxed state.
Oxytocin in medicine and therapy
Oxytocin has anti-inflammatory properties. This is the reason why high levels of oxytocin can alleviate physical pain such as muscle aches, cramps, headaches, wounds, etc. This is also why humans mimic this bio-chemical through synthetic production because it literally stops pain. In some studies, it was also proven to heal wounds. So just by daily positive social interactions, a person is doing something very helpful to his or her body. Oxytocin was also believed to be helpful on issues like anxiety, mood disorders, trauma (including PTSD), and autism. If we explore further (most probably in the next articles), we will see more promising benefits of oxytocin in medicine. But for now the point is that oxytocin is proven to be crucial to people on physical recovery. However, not only these positive impacts can be felt strongly in these physical aspects, it is also present in how we emotionally and cognitively process our emotions, sensation, and psychological content to the abstract and even metaphysical realms; in relation to our perspective of life and how we relate and socialize with others. These processes also are very healing to our body and to our spirit in general.
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