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How to Boost Oxytocin Levels

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Our bodies have their own natural opiates, including some of the more famous ones like serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin. They have various different functions but act primarily as neurotransmitters that induce feelings of happiness, accomplishment, and general well-being.

As the unofficial “love” hormone, oxytocin is the brain chemical responsible for that warm, fuzzy feeling we feel when we bond with others and feel loved. It’s even been identified as the hormone released in mothers at birth to illicit an intense rush of love and during lactation and breastfeeding to further increase the bond! An oxytocin release in the brain also induces a feeling of safety, boosts happiness, and decreases anxiety.

Although low and irregular oxytocin levels are commonly caused by life events like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and childhood trauma, loneliness and anxiety can contribute to lower levels of this feel-good hormone. If you are in need of the calming feel-good benefits that come from a boost of love, here are six ways to naturally induce a release of oxytocin.

Accept a Compliment

Our oxytocin levels increase when people are nice to us, so accepting compliments and being open to words of encouragement and care — as well as giving them — increases feelings of warmth and being rewarded that are associated with oxytocin.

Have an Orgasm

Whenever you have consenting physical contact like hugging, touching, or having sex that elicit a feeling of safety and well-being, you experience an oxytocin release because it’s the hormone responsible for attachment.

Gentle Exercise

Meditation and running are some solitary activities that you can try to boost your oxytocin levels if you want to be alone. These exercises allow you to not only mitigate negative thoughts but also boost your feeling of well-being upon completion.

Let Your Emotions Out

Suppressing your emotions can lower your oxytocin levels, so let whatever you’re holding in out. Allow yourself to feel whatever you’re holding back from, because the release will calm any anxieties and ease your worries some.

Be Giving

Giving of yourself can take various different forms. Whether it’s volunteering or showing an interest in someone else, giving of yourself and being empathetic will make you feel good about yourself.





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Podcasts and Apps For the New Year

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As the festive season comes to an end, New Year’s resolutions begin. For some, this means creating healthier eating habits and jump-starting a new workout routine, while for others, it means making time for more self-care ,or simply making a commitment to travel more. With all of this in mind, creating an atmosphere of wellness and inspiration is vital for carrying your resolutions to the finish line, and a perfect place to start is with podcasts.

Podcasts and apps can help you achieve your resolutions while doing everyday activities, like going for a walk, shopping, or during your evening skincare routine. The best part? It doesn’t matter if you’re a meditation guru or vinyasa flow newbie — there is something for everyone that explores all elements of wellness. Here’s a list of 11 podcasts and apps that’ll motivate you on demand and inspire you to see those resolutions through, well into the new year.





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My Water Balance App Review

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Photographer: Ericka McConnell

During busy social periods like Christmas and New Year, it’s easy to find yourself overdoing it when it comes to alcohol. With happy hours, holiday parties, and social gatherings, that one cocktail can quickly become three or four. Even if you’re good at moderating your intake, the older you get, the harder those hangovers can be to manage. Over the past couple of years, I’ve found that even a couple of glasses of wine can leave me waking up the following morning with a raging anxiety hangover.

Headaches I can take, but the sinking feeling that I’ve done something terrible (even though I remember every minute of the night before) is not something I enjoy. Experts agree there is a strong link between alcohol and anxiety, and that’s definitely something I’ve experienced since hitting my 30s. So I decided to look into ways of reducing those anxious feelings (without having to give up alcohol entirely), and one thing that came up again and again as a possible cause was dehydration.

Could it really be as simple as drinking more water? I had my doubts, as I’ve always been pretty good at drinking water or juice throughout the day anyway, but I decided to try properly tracking my water intake for a while anyway. A few apps I already had (like my Fitbit app and the WW app) allowed me to log my drinks, but I decided to download My Water Balance, which goes one step further. It allows you to log specific drinks, including alcoholic ones, and when you do so, the app will automatically adjust your plain water intake to compensate for the diuretic or dehydrating properties of other drinks (coffee, tea, and soft drinks are all included, too).

Let’s just say this was a huge eye-opener. No wonder I was waking up with a dry mouth and feelings of dread. If you thought having a couple of glasses of water at the end of the night was enough to offset three glasses of wine, you’re way off. For three months, I made an effort to only go to bed when I’d hit my lofty target of 2.5 litres of water per day. On days when I drank alcohol, the recommended intake would quickly go up, and I must confess I felt like a camel at times, storing away gallons of water. I also needed to get up and go to the loo in the night, often twice. But it was worth it, because those anxiety hangovers all but disappeared. I was genuinely amazed by how much of a difference it made.

Though we’re all different (and my anxiety is very mild), I definitely recommend installing this app and upping your water intake if you know that alcoholic drinks can have adverse effects on your body or mood. Obviously the best way to avoid these symptoms is to avoid drinking entirely, but not all of us are ready to go completely cold turkey, particularly at such a busy time of year. Practice moderation, have a glass of water by your side at all times, and perhaps you’ll wake up on New Year’s Day with a clear head for once?





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Best Bodyweight Core Exercises | POPSUGAR Fitness UK

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You know losing belly fat is all dependent on what you eat, not just doing a million crunches every day. But once you get leaner by eating a healthy, balanced diet, you’ll want to reveal a strong, chiseled core. You don’t need equipment to make that happen! These are the best bodyweight moves to get you a six-pack. Choose five or more to create your own core-carving workout.





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