I’m not going to point to all the research. You can Google it. Basically, there’s various ways you can trick the body into releasing Oxytocin. The benefits are simple: feel better, reduce stress, be happier and those things help us live healthy – longer.
It’s hard to know what to do when things seem to have flat-lined. I don’t like feeling too comfortable. Maybe another term for it would be plateauing.
Am I Flat-Lining?
On one side … comfort poses a threat to improvement, but that might be my perception and not true. I perceive healthy discomfort as an opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable. The world happens to the ready.
On the other side… “comfortable” – where I am present and things are sufficient with the “comfortable” is a great place to be.
It’s discerning between the two.
I Just Made A New Rule For Myself
I’m making this up now:
If things are flat-lining for 90 days and, to my best efforts, I can’t get things to improve or at least have hope for improvement, then I will shut it down and start from scratch.
Then again, I don’t know. It kind of sounds like an old behavior where I feel the need to put a Saber Toothed Tiger on my shoulder to make life difficult
I will live that question for awhile. If I’m going to live a question, I need something to do. That’s when I decided to get high on my own supply of Oxytocin.
Feeling Flat? Here’s How I Get High On My Oxytocin
Dancing is a state changer. It’s a big YES in my book. Dancing with kids, dancing with lovers and dancing with friends – all Oxytocin inducing, all remedies for feeling flat.
My most fondly remembered moments this past week were giving/receiving hugs from people. Almost as good was imagining myself being hugged by someone I love.
Even something as small as browsing my Instagram feed I “Liked” a photograph that a random friend from 25 years ago posted. I don’t consider calling this person to say, “that was a real cute photo of your kid that you posted.” But liking the photo is one small way (of many) of connecting with someone that I have felt close to at some point in my life, even if it was just because in middle school me and him played ball together, went “ding-dong ditching” and swam in his pool. It’s not insignificant if you’re present to the human being that is behind those digital pixels.
Do Something Rarely Done Anymore
I called people to chat for a few minutes.
Like we used to do when we were kids. “Hey, how are you doing? What’s up?” This feels good. It’s like a vocal hug with someone I like. I’m good at vocally hugging people. I want to do it more. Warning: it will throw people for a loop. They will be like WTF are you calling me for?
Being trusted feels good. It gives me more confidence to trust others too.
I find people that I trust to be charismatic, and I live with a permanent crush on those people. Same goes for endearing people. All it takes for me to think you are trustworthy, charismatic and endearing is a good sit down talk.
How to be more trusted? Simple … Integrity. In all of my past relationships if I lost trust, I broke integrity first. Integrity is the only ingredient for prolonged happiness.
I ask my kids all the time, What do you want to do? Always the same answer: I want to play. That’s the gist, anyway. Us adults spend a lot of time, effort, and money being serious. But play?
I played with my kids all day yesterday, and let me tell you, I hope you choose to get out and play. We kicked rocks, jumped from swings and drew pictures with our imagination, among other things. No screens. They didn’t even ask.
If you want your small angers to disappear in a flash of laughter, then let go of serious and play with your kids.
Other Things I Did To Create My Own Oxytocin
Humor – That video above made me and the kids laugh SO HARD! We couldn’t get enough of it. Kids laugh like 300 times per day. Us adults… maybe three if we’re lucky.
Jumping rope – My best physical habit at the moment is four flawless minutes of jump rope a couple times per day.
Being creative – I started an Instagram profile. The first and primary reason is to ignite my creativity using photos as idea starters and practice pairing my pictures with the brevity that our “tl;dr society” is asking for.
Helping people, being helped – I had to ask for help in the form of childcare. I helped members of our staff at the greenhouse by teaching them instead of being an impatient asshole.
None of This is Science
Who cares! Maybe it’s not Oxytocin that I created. Maybe it’s a Jedi mind trick I played on myself. But if it helps me to be more efficient with, and reduce my “carbon footprint” with shitting out my mental and emotional waste, then sign me up.
Oxytocin is the flower. The flower grows toward the light. My goal is to be the light.