4 Oxytocin Benefits: The 'Love Hormone' Could Boost Feelings Of Parental Nurturing, Enhance Spirituality, Happiness, According To Science

Oxytocin is sometimes known as the "cuddle hormone" or the "love hormone" because it is released in the brain when people snuggle up or bond socially. We’ve listed some ways that it may be able to enhance your relationships and happiness, according to science.

pexels-photo Some happiness benefits may come hand-in-hand with hormone oxytocin. Photo courtesy of Pexels

IMPROVES MEN’S SPIRITUALITY

In September 2016, a study from Duke University found that all-male participants who took oxytocin experienced more positive emotions during meditation. Men felt a greater sense of spirituality shortly after taking the hormone medication and also a week later, Medical Daily reported.

Read: Can Oxytocin Enhance Spirituality? Hormone Causes Increased Positive Emotions In Men, Study Shows

ENHANCES FEELINGS OF PATERNAL NURTURING

A recent study from Emory University looked at how oxytocin impacts human fathers’ brain functions, according to Medical XPress.

When looking at images of their toddlers, study participants who were administered oxytocin showed significantly increased neural activity in specific mental systems which are associated with reward and empathy.

Lead author James Rilling told Medical XPress that these results “also suggest that oxytocin, known to play a role in social bonding, might someday be used to normalize deficits in paternal motivation, such as in men suffering from post-partum depression." (New fathers can be vulnerable to post-partum depression, as well as mothers, Medical Daily reported.)

Read: Empathy Test: Can Low Oxytocin Levels Affect Someone’s Feelings Of Sympathy?

TREATS PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS (MAYBE)

Back in 2015, researchers from the Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University published a study reporting that the release of oxytocin in the brain could lead to potential treatments for enhancing social function in people affected by a psychiatric disorder.

INCREASES LEVELS OF EMPATHY

Last year, a study revealed that people suffering medical conditions causing low levels of oxytocin performed worse on empathy tasks. These findings suggest that hormone replacement could improve the psychological well-being of those living with low levels of the hormone, Medical Daily reported. It may also help people with Autism Spectrum Disorder who have trouble negotiating social situations.

Source: Li T, Chen X, Mascaro J, Haroon E, Rilling JK. Intranasal oxytocin, but not vasopressin, augments neural responses to toddlers in human fathers. Hormones and Behavior. 2017.

Read Also:

Autism Cure Research 2017: Hormone Oxytocin Reverses Attention, Social Dysfunction In Rats

The Science Of Love: Is Falling In Love Possible Without Hormones Oxytocin, Serotonin, And Dopamine?

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