500 Words On Oxytocin
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500 Words On Oxytocin

Who doesn't love the cuddle hormone?

500 Words On Oxytocin

I remember going to a lecture at the University of Arizona during my sophomore year of high school. I felt terrible, but I would not forfeit Honors Chemistry extra credit because of a headache. I arrived just before the lecture began and sat in the back of a nearly packed auditorium. As the scientist on stage spoke, the throbbing in my head dulled my ability to pay attention to the lecture.

However, when she mentioned oxytocin my ears perked up. Simply put, oxytocin is the hormone that aids in the process of creating bonds, among other things. When our mothers met our fathers, oxytocin facilitated the processes that led to our conception. Nine months later, oxytocin helped produce uterine contractions during childbirth. After we exited the womb, we lost our baby chub, grew a few feet and established relationships with nearly every person we interacted with as a result of oxytocin production or lack thereof.

Understandably, I had assumed that oxytocin was a hormone limited to human relations. However, the guest lecturer began to cite research that proved otherwise. I was particularly shocked when she stated that when you have positive interactions with your dog, your brain produces oxytocin. I was intrigued; up until that point, I didn’t really grasp how much this hormone contributed to interspecies interactions. As she continued, she stated that when you pet, cuddle, and play with your dog, their brain also produces oxytocin.

Upon hearing this, my eyes began to tear up and I nearly leaped out of my seat and ran home to see my beagle. What seemed to be blind adoration from my dog was a genuine, almost human love for me. My dog did not love me merely because we lived in the same house -- she loved me because I loved her.

The next day, I stayed home from school with a fever and took this as an opportunity to do some research while enjoying my dog’s company. I found myself sitting in front of my computer feeling my heart swell as I pulled up multiple articles discussing the function of oxytocin in our lives and the lives of all other living, breathing things.

Why are cats generally more distant than dogs? Oxytocin. Why do we seem to hold on to some memories more than others? Oxytocin. How was the human race able to domesticate wolves? Oxytocin. Why does my grandma continue to give sloppy kisses even though the cringe on my face is evident? Oxytocin, or in my case, a lack of oxytocin.

When an individual analyzes this hormone, the most important human sentiments become less nebulous and more tangible. That being said, the love we feel for the significant people and animals in our lives is a real thing produced by an actual gland nestled in our brains. Love literally flows in the veins of all living, breathing things. If that doesn’t make you love oxytocin, I think you could use a little bit more of it in your life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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