Monday, August 18, 2008

"Journaling Can Provoke an Oxytocin Response"

This is an article that Youssef found for me and I found it to be encouraging!


The top question among most of us who are interested in oxytocin is, "How can I get more of it?" I always try to promote natural ways to get an oxytocin rush, instead of buying probably-useless products over the internet.

A new study, published last month and reported by Science Daily, points to still another way: writing about your values and core beliefs.

Jennifer Crocker and Yu Niiya from the University of Michigan and Dominik Mischkowski from the University of Konstanz in Germany, followed up on a different study that showed coffee drinkers were more open to hearing information about why it's bad for you if they had first written about their most important value. Crocker and Niiya wanted to understand what caused this effect.

They did two experiments. First, they had people write for ten minutes; half the subjects wrote about their most important value, the other half about their least important value. Then, they rated how much love or empathy they felt afterwards.

In the second experiment, smokers and non-smokers did the same writing exercise, and then they read an article about the harm of smoking to your health. The people who had written about an important value felt more loving and they were also less defensive about the negative info on smoking.

They didn't test the subjects' blood, but the researchers think that oxytocin is what made the difference. According to the article,
The researchers speculate that the love and connection people feel after writing about important values could affect hormones related to care giving, such as oxytocin. Because oxytocin increases trust, it might account for reduced defensiveness in people who take a few minutes to reflect on their important values.

James Pennebaker has shown that writing about things that bother you can boost your immune system's functioning. A release of oxytocin also could explain that effect.

So, before you spend $49.95, sit down and think about what matters to you -- and write it down.

August 18, 2008


I wonder if oxytocin can make you more sensitive too. It seems like when I actually do share with people the things that are really important to me and they have a negative reaction it bothers me more. Not that disagreement is a problem it's just the not listening or disregard for my excitement. It seems like it could be possible to be in a disagreement and talk about it while still respecting and considering the other persons point of view. I know I don't express that very well far too often, and it is truly so difficult when every human so desperately wants to be listened to and understood. We shouldn't give up that desire! I'm so thankful that God knows me so well and yet still loves me. My husband too! Even when I'm upset with Youssef over something I'm always so glad that we got married! A bit after our anniversary when we were sort of evaluating our lives together (thus far) we realized that the reason we are so good for each other is that we accept the other person and don't want to change them. I'm glad my husband is my best friend. That was always my dream... to have a best friend to be married to and grow old with...

In "Shall We Dance" there is a part in it about why we get married... "We want a witness to our lives..." The big things, the small things... and everything in between.. to not live our lives unobserved by another human being.

*sigh* it was such a beautiful section of that movie! And now that my oxytocin levels are built up after that little bit of journaling I actually do feel more uplifted and now I even feel ready to tackle my messy house!

(I like knowing some of these scientific discoveries about how we are made to function because then it's easier to get into that contented and joyful place where God wants me to be!)


Rebekah said...

I just noticed you deleted your previous post about oxytocin.

Lynne' said...

Yeah.. my intention was to inform and encourage and I think I mainly annoyed people and offended everyone so I just got rid of the silly thing. Anyway, this is better. :)