The love hormone attributed to overcome loneliness: Study


Oxytocin the love hormone or the happy hormone or as called by some the cuddle hormone promotes reduction in the feeling of loneliness and enhances building up new connections during any socially exclusive occasions. As loneliness is often described as a modern epidemic, can have detrimental effects on individuals’ mental as well as physical health.

It is not a treatment for everything but it is a promising tool for supportive therapy potentially navigating patients to address their loneliness.

So what is oxytocin basically ..?

Oxytocin is a neuropeptide hormone released from the posterior pituitary and produced by the hypothalamus. It thereby plays a crucial role in engaging oneself in various social behaviours such as bonding, trust building and empathy, whereas its role in childbirth and breast feeding are well documented, researchers have turned heads by focusing on its attribution towards loneliness.

This hormone is particularly more significant in individuals who struggle to overcome the feeling of loneliness and are bad at maintaining healthy relationships. 

Furthermore, it improves one’s stress and anxiety levels which are often heightened in lonely people. Thus, by dampening the activity of the amygdala, the brain region responsible for stress and anxiety, oxytocin helps to mitigate the feelings and negative responses away from loneliness. 

Oxytocin enhancing more of social activities 

Every individual is well aware of the term loneliness and its feeling which primarily arises as a result of insufficient bondage. 

Oxytocin promotes prosocial natures, such as generosity and altruism which strengthens social bonds and creates a sense of belongingness. This helps one to encounter the feeling of isolation and social exclusion. 

Despite all these positive effects of oxytocin psychologists yet suggest that oxytocin should not be seen as a panacea and that it is not always necessary to give oxytocin as a nasal spray and expect healthy results. 

In a controlled study held at the University of Oldenburg, Bochum, Freiburg and Haifa;  trials have been done on women and men who have developed a feeling of loneliness and were entitled to oxytocin as a nasal spray.

The psychological interventions were associated with a significant reduction of stress and improvement in traits similar to loneliness across the therapy groups which was evident even after a 3-month follow-up. Oxytocin was found not to have any such significant enhancement in the quality of life but compared to placebo it did level downed the state of loneliness.

After all the research, it is proved that oxytocin is a promising tool for reducing loneliness and fostering more and more social connections. By enhancing social bonds, reducing anxiety and stress as well as promoting more generous behaviour, this remarkable hormone offers hope for combating the pervasive issues of loneliness in modern society. However, its approach should be appropriate and under vigilance with caution as it can produce a placebo effect.

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