Emotional Health Minute: Combat stress by releasing oxytocin (the hormone of calm) in yourself.

Oxytocin is an antidote to cortisol (hormone of stress).  If you have a tendency to easily get emotionally dysregulated (really angry, really sad, really tense…) – or if you know someone else who does – this is for you.

Neuroscience has shown us that oxytocin puts the brakes on cortisol.  In my Marin couples therapy work, I often educate people around the power of a 20 second full body contact in its potential to release oxytocin in both partners which can create a sense of connection, attachment and good feelings (a great tool to de-escalate conflict).

The great news is that you can release oxytocin on your own via a powerful, “Hand on the Heart” exercise:

This is what you do:

  • Begin by placing your hand on your heart, feeling the warmth of your own touch. Breathe gently and deeply into your heart center.  Breathing in a sense of contentment and well-being.
  • Call to mind a moment of being with someone who loves you unconditionally, someone you feel completely safe with like a beloved partner, child or parent,  friend, a trusted teacher – a moment when you felt seen and accepted, loved and cherished.  It could be a beloved pet.
  • As you remember feeling safe and loved, savor the feeling of warmth, safety, trust, and love in your body.
  • When that feeling is steady, let go of the image and simply bathe in the feeling itself for 30 seconds.

In my Marin individual therapy practice, I teach people other ways to build resilience and decrease the presence of the uncomfortable emotions that might inhibit you.

SCHEDULE AN INDIVIDUAL THERAPY APPOINTMENT

Skype sessions also available in some cases (CA residents).

 

Comments are closed.