Day 3: Have lunch with a colleague.
mmm… this could be tricky as I am a lone worker, with no working-with-me colleagues! So, it has to be lunch at home with Mr Hopkinson! Not a bad lunch date! 😂
But what if I didn’t have anyone at home? How would my day have panned out?
Would I make the first move to chat with someone (I know I can as I talked to the barman in the pub)?
Having a social circle, and starting with one person is a good start, can open a world that you never know existed. Maybe you sit next to the same person on the train or bus? See the same people in the cafe in the morning? Or even just buying your daily newspaper at the kiosk?
Human contact is so important – touch especially has shown to be very beneficial in releasing oxytocin (AKA the ‘Cuddle Hormone”, which helps humans in several ways:
- Bonding. In the Prairie Vole, oxytocin released into the brain of the female during sexual activity is important for forming a monogamous pair bond with her sexual partner. Vasopressin appears to have a similar effect on males. In people, plasma concentrations of oxytocin have been reported to be higher amongst people who claim to be falling in love. Oxytocin has a role in social behaviours in many species, and so it seems likely that it has similar roles in humans.6
- Maternal behaviour. Female sheep and rats given oxytocin antagonists after giving birth do not exhibit typical maternal behaviour. By contrast, virgin female sheep show maternal behaviour towards foreign lambs upon cerebrospinal fluid infusion of oxytocin, which they would not do otherwise.10
- Increasing trust and reducing fear. In a risky investment game, experimental subjects given nasally administered oxytocin displayed “the highest level of trust” twice as often as the control group. Subjects who were told that they were interacting with a computer showed no such reaction, leading to the conclusion that oxytocin was not merely affecting risk-aversion.11 Nasally administered oxytocin has also been reported to reduce fear, possibly by inhibiting the amygdala (which is thought to be responsible for fear responses).12 There is no conclusive evidence for access of oxytocin to the brain through intranasal administration, however.
Have other human contact is good for us humans – and don’t forget pets are a source of affection and can help boost your ‘Cuddle Hormone”.
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