A few years ago, research was conducted in the United States, putting young girls in different groups against a strict jury. The girls in the first group were allowed to have physical contact with their mother, the second group was allowed to call someone, the third group was only allowed to text and the last group was not allowed to contact anyone at all.
“The release of oxytocin, also known as the ‘cuddly hormone’, had increased after physical contact and a telephone conversation,” says Professor De Bruijn. “The girls who were allowed to text or have no contact were not.”
Cuddling with your pet
You make the substance oxytocin if you experience happiness. “It varies per person how much of the hormone is produced, in the same situation.” For example, it can help to cuddle with your pet. “Although you see that this is often not pleasant for the animal itself.”
How do you ensure more oxytocin release?
- Cuddle with roommates as much as possible
- Cuddle your pet
- Call someone
- Video call with someone. Looking each other in the eye works even better
- Give or take a massage
- Have sex
In these uncertain times, many people suffer from stress and anxiety, according to De Bruijn. “It can really help to do fun things. That explains the success of apps like Houseparty. It is important to relax and keep in social contact.”
Don’t buy a nasal spray
De Bruijn emphasizes that it is important to find your own balance. “And pay extra attention to people who are struggling. People you know are more likely to feel anxious or develop depressed feelings.”
Many oxytocin nasal sprays are offered online. “Don’t buy it. You don’t know what effect these sprays have. It is better to make oxytocin yourself.”