Oxytocin is one of your happy chemicals, and you can increase it.
Happy chemicals like oxytocin have a transient impact on our brains. They don’t last very long, so we have to seek new ways to get another happy chemical boost. Seeking happy chemicals is a never ending, repetitive process for humans. Happily for us there are several happy chemicals, and endless ways to get them.
Major depression makes increasing our happy chemicals to the levels needed for happiness far more difficult, but it’s still a good idea for everyone, even people suffering from this serious brain disease, to give themselves little bursts of the happy chemical, oxytocin.
Oxytocin is increased by trust. We learned long ago that when we came out of our cave the predators were after us right away. It didn’t take long to realize there was safety in numbers. A little clan of people is a lot safer than a single person because predators are safer attacking one person than a group.
We joined a clan, or a tribe, or a herd, or a family because it was the safe thing to do, and because it made us feel good. We trusted the group, and we received a oxytocin boost. We were happier because of the oxytocin, and its effect on our brain.
There are other ways of increasing oxytocin. Some are in the best interest of human survival – childbirth, breast feeding of infants. Some may not always be in our best interests. Joining groups is not always the smartest thing to do, depending on our needs at the moment, and depending on the group’s ability to meet our needs, but it’s something that human beings do to feel happy, and it has a very strong background.
Whether we’re joiners or not, we need some social contact. It doesn’t take much to stimulate oxytocin. In order to have any social contact we have to lower our guard a little bit, and trust someone enough to interact with them a little bit. Just a little social interaction goes a long way towards increasing oxytocin, and making us happier. It goes without saying that we have to be somewhat careful in picking trustworthy people to trust.
With just a little social contact, you trusted someone enough to interact. You joined the tribe for a few moments. You also boosted your oxytocin, and you feel at least a little bit happier.
Before long you feel alone again, so you need a little more human contact. The effect of oxytocin is fading, but you know it doesn’t take much social interaction to make you feel better for a little while. Of course, you could instead increase another of your happy chemicals; we have a variety of options.
Human life is a series of challenges. We’d be foolish to think constant happiness is realistic. Still, there are activities which increase our happy chemicals. There are also things that get in the way of our natural abilities to be happy – clinical depression is one – these sometimes require medical treatment. Removing stumbling blocks to happiness is a goal of our Advanced TMS using the NeuroStar Therapy System.