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10 Unusual Ways to Release Oxytocin Into Your Life


James Altucher

I disgust myself. When I was six I used to make fun of one kid for being heavier than me. When I was seven I made fun of a kid for being Chinese. He was the only Chinese kid in the neighborhood. I was a seven year old racist. He was so upset the principal had to talk to me. The punishment – we had to ride with each other on the bus every day. He was more upset than me about this.
When I was nine I was caught shoplifting football cards. This after a successful crime career lasting for about a year where I had stolen everything from candy to Charlie Brown books to Mad books to baseball cards. My parents were so angry they cancelled my birthday party that was coming up. Then they never let me have one again. I still don’t have birthday parties. Because I stole a football card.
(worth it)

I did lots of things. Things much later. Ugh. I can hardly think of it. The things that I would do. I’m like a psychopath or sociopath when I really get down to it. Worst of all, I go to the bathroom. I’ve never seen a more disgusting thing than my own human Body going to the bathroom. Ugh.
Google: I need to talk to you about this! You are making a car that drives without a driver. You are making glasses that wire my brain right into the Internet. Why the hell can’t you make it so I don’t have to shit. Like, can’t I wear glasses that do photosynthesis from the sun and turn into nutrition for my body. Nutrition with no waste. Why, for everything I eat, do I have to generate waste? This is almost proof that Satan exists.
And even worse, some of the waste gets stuck. If you’re not yet my age (44) you’ll start to know what I’m talking about. It gets stuck forever. I’ve switched diets recently. No carbs. No processes sugars. Not even gluten-free stuff, which is all a scam. And, I have to say, the quality of what comes out of me has become much better. Nor do I feel as stuffed.
So, ok, glass half full. Right?
Let me tell you the real bad news, although it won’t seem that way. Our alien ancestors who created us also created simple tools (call them “triggers” if you will) so that we can reprogram our bodies to be happy. What does happy mean? It means various chemicals get manipulated throughout the body. Cortisol Levels go down. Cortisol is the “fight or flight” hormone. So, like, when you are sitting at your desk staring at a computer screen and you are worried your boss is going to yell at you, your cortisol levels are going through the roof.
In other words, your body wants to do what it would’ve done 20,000 years ago (a micro-second in our evolutionary history) and basically run as fast as possible or physically destroy whatever is scaring you. Fight OR flight. Note the “OR”. There really isn’t an in-between that says, “don’t move and simply stare at your Computer Screen while you are simmering in unrequited anger and frustration.” That wasn’t part of the evolutionary plan. That’s what the neanderthals did probably. And look at what happened to them. They’re dead. Every last one of them.
So what do you do? In our modern day and age. You sit there, you stare at the computer screen, you maybe type some words but then your brain is distracted. You can’t think. Your cortisol is through the roof and nothing is working it off. That’s really horrible. The cortisol needs to be worked off. Or else. You are royally *******. You can get cancer, heart disease, strokes, Alzheimer, the whole works.
And if you are like me, if you are like most people, then chances are this is happening to you every day. Here’s what happens. The Vagus Nerve stretches from your brain to your stomach and hits every organ along the way (almost). It gets inflamed when your cortisol levels are too high for too long. The vagus nerve basically causes every disease known to mankind. High stress inflames it, as does bad food, smoking, etc. You get the drift.
What suppresses the inflammation?
Another hormone that the body is more than happy to release. Oxytocin. Oxytocin performs two very important functions that allow the human race to continue. But these functions have various beneficial side effects.
1) Oxytocin is released when you have an orgasm. For men, interestingly, it is only released when you have an orgasm with someone you love.
2) Oxytocin is released when a woman is in labor. It helps the cervix stress so it’s in less pain. It’s released for women, that is. For men, when the female cervix starts to expand it’s the beginning of about nine years of agony.
Basically, Oxytocin is the hormone that is there at the critical moments of life creation. It’s the “life hormone”. It also helps reduce cortisol levels (you know that feeling of relaxation you get after sex) and it reduces inflammation of the vagus nerve. (I sort of like that word: “vagus”. It’s both “vague” and “vaginal”).
So I’m not going to point to all the research. You can google it with your glasses. But basically, there’s various ways you can trick the body into releasing oxytocin. The benefits are simple: you feel better and you will live longer and you will reduce stress and be happier.
Here are ten ways:
  • Give money away. Turns out that showing compassion in a visceral way like giving money is linked to higher levels of oxytocin. My guess is that giving to charity is not the way to do it. I prefer my method of being a superhero that I write about in this post.
  • Hugging someone. Touching and hugging release oxytocin with hugging more powerful than touching and hugging someone you love even better than normal hugging. So a hug is better than a handshake. But almost as good as hugging is imagining yourself being hugged or cuddled by someone you love. Huh. It’s really funny how the brain does that.
  • Using Facebook. I like to browse my Facebook timeline and occasionally “Like” a photograph that a random friend from 30 years ago posted. I would never in a Million years call that friend and say, “that was a real cute photo of your baby that you posted.” But liking the photo is my way of connecting with someone that I have felt close to at some point in my life, even if it was only because her locker was next to mine in junior high school. Guess what, using social media in this way turns out to release oxytocin. You know you feel good when you do it. Do it more. IN particular, facebook like all of my blog posts. [The funny thing is, someone has actually done this scientific research and demonstrated it. Not the part about liking my blog posts but about facebook in general. Although liking my blog posts will certainly release Oxytocin. You can start now if you want.]
  • Laughter. I will tell you my pre-date secret. In the brief period when I was single in between separation and re-marriage I had a technique before every date. I would watch either Michael Cera doing comedy or Louis CK doing standup. This would get me laughing, make my oxytocin hormones go on fire, and then I’d go right into the date, with all my sex hormones raging. Plus. I would be temporarily funnier, with a half-life of about two hours. I knew after four hours I would be boring again so the date would have to be over by then. I do this before talks also.

(OJ Simpson Photo credit: Vintage Football Card Gallery; Vagus nerve image: University of Toronto Wikidot)
Copyright © Lara Whybrow 2013 All Rights Reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced without Lara Whybrow's express consent. Disclaimer: The information on this web site is presented for the purpose of educational and free exchange of ideas and speech in relation to health and awareness only. It is not intended to diagnose any physical or mental condition. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice and treatment of a licensed professional.

This post first appeared on Human! Heal Thyself - Health, please read the originial post: here

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10 Unusual Ways to Release Oxytocin Into Your Life


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