Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Cat Gave Me Oxytocin

by Kris Pitcher

That's right, my cat gives me drugs. She gives me important drugs, drugs that I can't buy. My cat gives me oxytocin. And if you have an animal that you love and hug...they're giving it to you too.

Oxytocin is a hormone released by the pituitary gland. It's our feel good hormone released when we're hugging, touching, adult stuff. But we're just talking about hugging today. Just hugging.

It's true that hugging, or petting, an animal reduces your blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels. It releases oxytocin which makes you feel good. It produces feelings of bonding with that animal. It's the same with people too.

It's the hormone released which promotes social recognition and bonding between mother and child, and between partners. Oxytocin is important for our happiness. Hugging is important.

Some people are huggers, and some people just aren't. And that's OK. But oxytocin is important in increasing trust and reducing fear. It makes sense that if we feel bonded with someone we feel safe with them. We feel a sense of trust with them. We can thank our oxytocin for that.

Give someone a hug today. Hug your cat or your dog. Hugging increases your output of oxytocin and we all need to feel good inside! Now, where is that cat?

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