Oxytocin is lauded for how it promotes warmth, generosity, social bonding, cooperation, trust and compassion.” – Robert M. Salosky


In recent years, with rising mental health concerns globally but particularly in the Western world, there has been growing attention given to detoxing from social media and stepping back from the noise of the competitive world and instead seeking out natural ways of maintaining one’s happiness and well-being.

As discussed in my previous article about increasing dopamine levels, one of these ways is to boost the happy hormones in our body! Oxytocin, also known as the “love hormone” is one such example of a mood boosting hormone which helps enrich our social bonds with other people, making us feel a sense of joy and belonging. Released first at the time of childbirth to nourish the baby’s bond with the mother, Oxytocin can be simply described as a hormone or neurotransmitter that our brain releases into our bloodstreams to strengthen our capacity to love, trust, and care for people around us.

Following on from the time of childbirth and deepening the mother-child bond, it extends to our friendships, family relationships, and especially romantic/sexual partnerships. You might also have heard about some other happy hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. The way these hormones differ from oxytocin is the way which oxytocin releases a sense of pleasure.

For instance, oxytocin lifts your mood because the pleasurable emotion that we derive from it is that of trust and care for a loved one; however, on the other hand a hormone like serotonin maintains your anxiety and depression levels, dopamine is usually tied in with making you feel good about yourself when you achieve an important task, and endorphins are commonly produced through laughter or being able to enjoy a good meal.

Hence, if you are looking to improve your relationships and feel a surge of love, Oxytocin is the distinct hormone that will get you there. Luckily, there are some natural ways of increasing the production of Oxytocin in our body.  These need to be consistently maintained; otherwise, the body might form extremely strong coping mechanisms against getting hurt and turmoil which might block or weaken the impact of the release of oxytocin.


Here today, I’m sharing a number of simple ways to naturally increase your Oxytocin levels:


1.     Meditate

At first sight, this might seem mistaken and counterintuitive given that Oxytocin has everything to do with people and spending time with them, yet meditation is something we usually do away from others. That is true, but meditation is an excellent prerequisite to the social bonds we want to create. If we are not one with our thoughts, are overly anxious, or are constantly occupied with distrust for others when we are alone with ourselves, this might lower our chances of feeling deep connection with people. Hence, it is important to first feel at peace with oneself and approach people with a healthy and loving mindset.

2.      Cuddle or Hug Someone

Research shows that hugging someone, especially a loved one or even a simple physical touch can easily produce Oxytocin. This is exactly why we instantly feel comforted when we hug or kiss a loved when we are stressed or overstimulated. This would be highly effective in the context of romantic relationships whereby the physical touch of a sexual partner could very quickly alleviate stress and produce a sense of warmth.

3.     Express Your Feelings of Love To Someone

Telling someone about how much you love them and what they mean to you and their acknowledgement of your feelings can be one of the most gratifying experiences a person can have. While in some cultures, people might be more expressive than others, being able to trust someone with your feelings, and telling them about them is a guaranteed way of triggering Oxytocin release.

4.     Pet Dogs

While this may come as a surprise to some, petting animals especially dogs (at the risk of upsetting cat owners!) is a great way of releasing the said happy hormone. Research shows that dogs are highly responsive creatures and express their affection by gestures like licking and making eye contact; hence, when the love that we offer them is reciprocated, our moods are drastically uplifted. This could also hold true for when we play with dogs, train them, and subsequently reward them with treats. 

5.     Spend Time With Friends

Consistently working on ones’ friendships and taking time out to spend with them is a great trigger for Oxytocin release. Loving friends bring back the humour in us reminding us that life is not that serious. They allow us to be silly and be our unabashed selves, which is a relaxing break from the socialisation that happens at work and for some also within their homes whereby their family dynamics might get very stressful once in a while.

Friendships are bonds based on choice and shared interests without much shared responsibility. That is also a phenomenal way to be able to build trust with people and have fun without thinking too much about their expectations, what they might think of you, and what you have to offer them which might be an occupying concern in your life, at work or elsewhere.

6.     Have Engaging Conversations

With the rise of the digital age and extremely busy urban lives, we have all gotten used to small talk and barely have time for real conversations apart from text messaging. The eye contact one maintains during a real-time conversation and the emotional intimacy that it holds is unparalleled at a biological level because scientifically when a person looks into another person’s eyes, hold eye contact and talks about something that truly interests them with passion while feeling seen and heard at the same time can have a magical impact on our well-being. This is exactly why you feel so satisfied after a long chat with your cousins on a night-in or a friend who you have met up with for the first time in a while.


7.     Volunteer Work

While feeling loved and being able to receive warmth from other people is an instant source of release for Oxytocin, being able to give love and make other people happy is also a way to increase Oxytocin production. This service does not have to be extremely grand whatsoever, even buying someone in need a fresh meal, helping someone pick up heavy luggage, or guiding someone at your workplace could also count as ways of helping people. However, statistically, people who consistently or formally engage in community service are said to be the happiest, which might mean that being a part of something bigger than yourself and see the fruits of your effort take shape through someone’s happiness by volunteering with an organisation or giving consistent charity might be an impeccable way to produce more Oxytocin.

8.     Give Someone A Compliment

We all love a good compliment! The worst of days and the crankiest of person can become a little better with a thoughtful compliment. Any compliment, from commenting on one’s appearance, personality, or effort at work can have a positive effect, the compliment that makes people most happy is when compliments are not just generic mindless comments but well-thought out and addressing the person in a unique way. Noticing someone’s haircut, observing gradual progress within someone’s work are all good examples of considered, specific compliments instead of vague comments which might feel forced and fake. Nuanced compliments mean the most to people!

9.     Play With Children

Children (well, if in a good mood!) can be great anti-stressors. Children are fun to goof around with, with the most contagious laughs and funniest stories to tell. Children are curious beings, and their childlike wonder can make us take ourselves a little less serious as well putting us a light mood – all in all, it can serve as a good break from adulthood.

10. Share A Meal With Your Loved Ones

With time, the culture of eating together as a family or with friends on a daily basis is becoming a rarity for many people. Most people like to exit the living room back to their bedrooms to enjoy their meals in peace in front of laptop screen watching a show or scrolling through social media. Eating can be an extremely beneficial way to connect and bond with people. Food also acts as a great conversation starter at get-togethers. Having a meal with your loved one and sharing conversations about things you are interested in is one of the most crucial ways to feel a sense of safety and belonging, which advances the production of Oxytocin.

11. Give A Gift

Gift giving is one of the most popular five love-languages. While some of us might be more inclined to expressing our love for the people we love through giving gifts, some of us might find it rather exhausting and just a lazy expression of love. However, it is the thought that counts. When gifts are given with thought keeping in mind what the person likes or needs during that phase of their life is what makes the other person happy. Gift giving is also socially considered a marker of courtesy and social trust; hence, even if gift giving might not instinctively feel like your natural love language, it is okay to make the effort once in a while to give the people you love gifts for an extra hit of Oxytocin. These gifts do not in any way have to be elaborate but just well-thought out and given with love.

12. Make Someone Laugh

Humour is one of the most underrated love languages and way of building trust. If someone understands our humour rather than getting offended or hurt, we know we might have a friend for life. Hence, a good joke can take a relationship very far with doses of Oxytocin along the way.

13. Express Your Feelings

A lot of people feel as if sharing one’s feelings and negative emotions with other people means burdening them and is a sign of their own weakness. This holds little truth, in fact, on the contrary, sharing our feelings with other people and asking for help when we are aware that we are incapable of handling a particular situation on our own is a sign of maturity and can build deep trust between individuals, releasing Oxytocin.

14. Listen To Music

Music is said to have an instant mood-lifting quality as it is the experience of listening to another person talk about mundane human emotions. This feeling of having a shared experience with someone through listening to music, watching a film, or engaging in consuming or creating anything creative can produce high levels of Oxytocin as art in any form makes people feel seen and feel as though they belong; in a distinct way that their social bonds with real people may also not make them feel.

15. Take Care of Your Diet

Lastly, it goes without saying that to sustain the production and the balance of any health hormone in our body, one must take care of their diet, consistently exercise, and make sure to consume foods that give them energy. People who share an unhealthy relationship with food and their bodies tend to have a hard time being comfortable with people around them; hence, taking care of one’s diet and physical health is important also regulating the release of other happy hormones like endorphins.


Oxytocin connects us to people. It makes us feel what other people feel.” – Paul J. Zak


Final Word

Somedays it might feel like everything in your life is weighing you down and your overall well-being is low or decreasing. These are days when one can potentially rely on these approaches to trigger the release of Oxytocin without having to make too much effort. The release of Oxytocin feels like surges of comfort amidst one’s chaotic and stressful life. However, these need to be consistently maintained; otherwise, as previously stated, the body might form strong coping mechanisms against getting hurt and turmoil which might block or weaken the impact of the release of oxytocin.


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1.  Would you like a satisfying and meaningful career as a hypnotherapist helping others? Are you a hypnotherapist looking for stimulating and career enhancing continued professional development and advanced studes? Explore the pages of this website.
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Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar. Alternatively, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book.