Life after 40 is the biggest hormonal shift in a woman’s life – yes, perimenopause/menopause is a lot more roller coasty than puberty!
If we think about estrogen, or progesterone, we often disregard oxytocin, the “LOVE hormone”
Oxytocin is a neuropeptide* released by the brain when we experience physical contact or bonding. Social interactions, as well as hugs, massage or affection, trigger the release of oxytocin.
During the hormonal roller coaster of perimenopause and in the process of ageing, more oxytocin means better sleep, less sugar cravings and irritability, more joy for life (less depression) and fewer muscle aches.
As you go through menopause, oxytocin deficiency can also get in the way of sexual pleasure, proper vaginal lubrification and libido.
The good news is it’s easy to make your brain release oxytocin. Find below 5 natural and quick way to boost your ‘love hormone” levels and feel fabulous!
A 2012 study found evidence to suggest 15 minutes of massage could not only help people relax, but it could also boost oxytocin levels.
- Cook (and eat) with someone you care about
Sharing food increases oxytocin because it is a great way to bond. Preparing a meal with friends or a partner provide enjoyment in addition to nourishment. And eating with loved ones is a source of deep pleasure.
- Connect to your heart with your breath
Heart coherence is a powerful way to stimulate oxytocin production. In the new field of neuro cardiology, researchers have found that the heart, as an hormonal gland, produces oxytocin.
The primary conscious access you have to your heart is through your breath. Practicing a breathing technique three times a day for five minutes is what I do recommend. It’s a powerful too to get your power back.
Some of your gut microbes stimulate oxytocin production. If you are suffering from dysbiosis, it’s time to balance your gut microbiome.
Kefir is my preferred option. It does increase your oxytocin levels and provide significant immune-modulating properties.
Some specific strains of probiotics also boost your oxytocin levels. They are called psychobiotics. They influence your gut-brain axis and induce better mood, cognitive function and sense of wellbeing. Your gut health impacts you more than you think!
- Tell someone how much you care
This is a sure way to strengthen your emotional connection with others and increase your oxytocin levels.
I’m curious, what is your preferred method to feel the love (and boost your self love)?
* Neuropeptides are small protein-like molecules (peptides) used by neurons to communicate with each other. They are neuronal signalling molecules that influence the activity of the brain and the body in specific ways – Wikipedia