Honestly, if cupid was a student of neuroscience, he may well have aimed his arrow at the brain instead of the heart. Love is usually associated with the heart, but what if it isn’t a heart game at all?
The real glue that holds love together doesn’t come from the heart, but the brain. Oxytocin, also known as the ‘cuddle hormone’, is produced by the hypothalamus in your brain and is the main reason for all your love relationships, whether romantic or familial. Every time you hug, kiss, hold hands or have any other body contact, your brain makes and secretes oxytocin in low levels. According to a handful of scientific studies, oxytocin can make you more supportive, sympathetic and caring towards your loved ones.
A Love Potion That Does Wonders
When you see that special someone, hold their hand or caress their cheek, the smile that erupts on your face is the magic of oxytocin which is bursting like a stream of fireworks in your brain. The highest levels of oxytocin in the body were found during the phase of falling in love. It helps couples establish a sense of intimacy and trust and empowers a strong emotional bond between them.
You may not know it, but oxytocin is the hormone produced in the body when you are sexually attracted to your partner; it also initiates arousal and boosts sex drive. The amount of oxytocin has also been correlated to the longevity of a relationship.
In an experiment carried out at the University of Zurich, couple therapist and researcher Beate Ditzen sprayed couples with a liquid containing oxytocin up their noses and asked them to talk about issues that would often lead to disagreements or fights between them (household chores, utilizing free time, etc). The results were baffling, as Ditzen found that, for both the partners, the dose of oxytocin improved their communication levels and reduced the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
The hormone-induced love behavior may also be linked to genetics as suggested by a study published in the journal of Biological Psychiatry. According to this study, a variation in the oxytocin-receptor gene can result in strained romantic relationships that are difficult to maintain.
Overcome Your Social Barriers With Oxytocin
Moderate levels of oxytocin can assist in dealing with social anxiety and mood disorders. It can particularly spill magic in the lives of autistic individuals by helping them to recognize and connect with emotions. By inducing feelings of trust, oxytocin can make introverts be more open and expressive of their feeling and encourage social communication.
On this V-Day, remember that you can fall in love with your partner all over again by giving in to your feelings. If you have had a strained relationship in the past or have struggled with work and household issues, talk it out. Unless you establish that connection with your partner, oxytocin may just be another brain chemical. But if you are ready to give your relationship a chance, then surely go ahead—because oxytocin is sure to play its magic wand!