I love talking about the way the brain works and all the wonderful chemicals in us which can help us to feel well. We need to know how to make them work for us and so improve our own mental health without having to take medication.
So for my first blog entry lets talk about oxytocin
This is sometimes called the “cuddle” chemical. Its in all our brains and is responsible for the good feelings we get when we get a hug.
For women Its also helps us to secrete milk when we have a baby. Its part of the cascade of chemicals that occur for childbirth to get started.
It assists with reducing the risk of bleeding after birth.
It calms down the fetal brain so it is ready to be born without become hypoxic because of a lack of oxygen as it goes through the birth canal!
It increases bonding between the caregivers and the baby.
It may also reduce our appetites so cuddle more, eat less.
It makes us feel more secure, it works against the stress response by actually helping to reduce the chemicals which can add to our sense of being hyperalert, and so less able to concentrate when we’re stressed.
so get on with it HUG more NOW!
GIVE YOURSELF A PAT ON THE BACK!
I am always asking people to literally pat themselves on the back when they achieve a goal they set for themselves as it means you are recognising your achievement and so reinforcing the fact that you’ve done well. The act of patting yourself on the back also gives you a “shot” of oxytocin so this adds to the good feeling and so assists you to develop new habits faster….. and ain’t that a good thing so don’t forget to hug others and to give yourself a pat on the back each time you achieve the goals you set for yourself.