This post could also have been be entitled “Oxytocin – for feeling good generally”. Because this is a brain chemical – a neuropeptide – which creates a great feel-good response in the mind/body; it also does so in relation to other humans – you could say it’s sort of socially contagious, in a good way. Some researchers are even dubbing it as “Social Viagra”! Oxytocin is isolated and captured as an actual substance, which is prescribed in nasal spray form, for individuals struggling with social phobia. But it is also naturally produced in the body in any case, under various conditions. In an automatic, practical way, it is produced during the physical processes of sexual climax, childbirth and expression of breast milk. In a more everyday, going-about-your-business kind of way, release of this hormone can be triggered through simply being nice to someone else. This behaviour makes you feel good and may also elicit a pleasant response from the other person which, in turn, adds to your own feel-good factor, through the feedback loop of the positive social interaction. In other words, it’s a lot like the knock on effect of tuning into certain states of mind (moods or modes of feeling and being) which then generate more of themselves through the law of attraction – as shown in the movie What the Bleep Do We Know.
There are some good reports around on Oxytocin. You can also get the lowdown in a really straightforward way from author Dr David Hamilton, who has thoroughly researched this area, in his book Why Kindness Is Good For You.