We as a species for the most part love to feel good. We strive for that feeling, we fight for that feeling, and we pretty much live for those good moments. Have you ever wondered what exactly is happening to you on a physiological level when we feel so good? I hope the answer is yes, because we are about to fill you in on the how, why and science of just that, “feeling good”.
Humans and well all living beings for that matter actually produce a “feel good” hormone called oxytocin. It is called the ” feel good” hormone because of its importance in the formation and maintenance of strong mother-child and sexual attachments. It seems reasonable that it would also trigger other types of related coupling and trust behaviors. It has been proven that Oxytocin release also produces feelings of affection and contentment. A general sense of calm and love are also triggered by the release of this powerful hormone. This hormone is naturally produced, stored in the body and released when the body necessitates relaxation such as in a pregnant mother or elicited by some sort of external stimulus/experience.
Recent research has shown that this hormone can in fact be released with simple human interaction, this is why networking in person can build such high levels of trust and confidence in each other. What they found that is startling, is that Oxytocin levels were also raised in very similar levels with online social interaction. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other networks when utilized showed increases in oxytocin in the body.
What does this tell us about well, us? Social interaction is a huge factor as it relates to happiness and a general sense of well being. And though the preliminary research shows that even online interaction can elicit similar results, I would find it difficult to reproduce the feelings that we get with simple human interaction. Most if not all of us lead lives in which we interact with new and interesting people everyday. Some of us dont have it so easy. Do yourself a favor, take a minute each and every day to interact face to face. Make a connection, earn someones trust, form a bond, and just feel good. After all, you deserve it 🙂
Yours in health,
Dr. Jordan H Kaplan