Natural Oxytocin: The Love Hormone
If you're an animal owner, not much can come between you and the love of your pet. And love (even from pets) is often an antidote for stress.
Research has shown that there is a connection between pets and stress relief. One such connection is the increase in natural oxytocin we experience when we're with our pets.
Oxytocin is commonly called "the love hormone". It's connected to feelings of love, nurturing, and emotional bonding and is believed to calm fears. It's also believed to counteract the "fight or flight" response also known as stress.
When you and your pet spend time together, both of you can actually experience an increase in oxytocin. Some studies believe that the feelings created due to the increase of this chemical is what brings people and animals together... and allows animals to become calm enough to be domesticated.
When we're stressed, these calm feelings... as well as the feelings of love and bonding can have huge benefits. We can begin to experience not only emotional relaxation, but physical and physiological relaxation as well as we reap benefits such as lowered blood pressure and lowered anxiety.
Not only do we benefit from this relationship, our pets do too. It's believed that they experience the same increase in oxytocin and the same benefits... making it all the more worthwhile to spend some quality time with your pet today.