Reviewed by Physician Lim Sock Ling and Dr Eki Wari on January 12, 2023
Celebrate Love This Valentine’s Day With Random Acts Of Kindness
Published | 5 min read
Did you know that performing random acts of kindness boosts your levels of the love hormone oxytocin? Check out these health-inspired ways to celebrate Valentine's Day this year.
Read on to learn more about how oxytocin impacts the body and tips for performing random acts of kindness to support health and longevity this Valentine’s Day.
How Do Random Acts Of Kindness Affect Your Health?
Random acts of kindness refer to doing non-premediated nice or helpful things for people you may or may not know. Examples may include paying for a stranger’s coffee at your local coffee shop, volunteering for a charity, or saying hello to and complimenting people you encounter throughout your day.
Doing so may increase your production of oxytocin, according to a recent study. Oxytocin is a hormone that’s produced in the hypothalamus and released into the bloodstream by the pituitary gland. Its main function is to facilitate the reproductive system, from sex drive and orgasms to childbirth and lactation, as well as other aspects of human interaction.
“Oxytocin can induce anti-stress-like effects, such as reducing blood pressure and cortisol levels. It also increases tolerance to pain, exerts an anxiolytic-like effect, and stimulates various types of positive social interaction. Additionally, it promotes growth and healing. These health benefits are especially useful as we age when we would then be more prone to hypertension, anxiety, and detached from the social world.”
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Physician Lim Sock Ling
Physician Lim stated that an individual with low levels of oxytocin may experience the following symptoms:
- Poor communication
- Irritability and inability to feel affectionate
- More anxieties and fear than normal
- Sexual interactions that are less emotional, more mechanical and fulfill a basic need only
- Difficulty achieving orgasms
- Bigger appetite for sugar-rich foods
- Feeling little joy from life
- Disturbed sle
- Muscles aches
Random Acts Of Kindness Ideas That Boost Oxytocin
This Valentine’s Day, try taking
Drink a cup of chamomile tea
Do yoga with your partner
“In a small study in 2013, the 15 schizophrenia participants who practiced yoga for one month saw improvements in their ability to recognize emotions and socio-occupational functioning. They also had higher levels of oxytocin. The researchers suggest that a link could exist between these findings, though their study didn’t find a correlation,” Physician Lim stated.
Listen to or play music
Try a tuina massage
“A 2012 study on 95 adults suggested that 15 minutes of massage could not only help people relax, but it could also boost oxytocin levels. The same logic can be applied to TCM tuina. It involves administering appropriate tuina techniques to help increase blood circulation and promote muscle relaxation, including helping the mind and body to relax,” suggested Physician Lim.
Show your affection (but maybe not with strangers!)
Meditation and acupuncture
“Meditate to help reduce stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and help you feel more compassion toward yourself and others. These effects can go a long way toward increasing your sense of connection with others,” stated Physician Lim.
Random Acts Of Kindness Benefit Everyone
Valentine’s Day is not just for people who are married or in a relationship. Performing random acts of kindness this Valentine’s Day benefits your health and theirs. The gesture doesn’t have to be big or expensive, and the impact it has on a stranger can last a lifetime.
How do you plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year? Let us know in the comments below!
- Frontiers in Behavioral Science. 2022. Oxytocin Release Increases With Age and Is Associated With Life Satisfaction and Prosocial Behaviors.
- Harvard Health. 2021. Oxytocin: The Love Hormone.
- Frontiers in Psychology. 2015. Self-soothing behaviors with particular reference to oxytocin release induced by non-noxious sensory stimulation.
- Translational Neuroscience. 2021. Acupuncture and oxytocinergic system: The promising treatment for autism.
- Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. 2012. Massage increases oxytocin and reduces adrenocorticotropin hormone in humans.
- Journal of Clinical Nursing. 2009. Soothing music can increase oxytocin levels during bed rest after open-heart surgery: a randomised control trial.
- Indian Journal of Psychiatry. 2013. Effect of yoga therapy on plasma oxytocin and facial emotion recognition deficits in patients of schizophrenia.
- Europen Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011. Herbal medicine for depression, anxiety and insomnia: a review of psychopharmacology and clinical evidence.
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