Hormonal Influences and Social Rules

The hormonal (neuropeptides) equation is at the mercy of rapidly evolving social roles.  For example, oxytocin (sometimes called the bliss hormone or cuddle chemical) that is produced during childbirth, breastfeeding and sex, drives the formation of attachments, relationships, bonding, resilience, trust, etc.. Oxytocin is promoted by bonding with people around you and has a beneficial impact on people's health and well-being, especially as it works in sync with the reward chemical dopamine.  Also oxytocin prevents alcohol from accessing specific sites in the brain that cause alcohol's intoxicating effects and can reduce the consumption of alcohol.

We need the right hormone balance to display behaviours like empathy and patience. On the other hand, stress (that can be caused by being over busy, over achieving, etc) with its driving hormones adrenaline, cortisol and oestrogens results in it being more difficult to get the bonding, etc that oxytocin provides.

In addition to oxytocin, other feel good hormones like serotonin, dopamine and progesterone are under threat when experiencing stress.

At the same time, male hormones, like testosterone, are falling victim to increased oestrogen levels as contained in pesticides, to genetically modified organisms, plastics, sulphates, artificial hormone, parabens, etc. Lower testosterone in men impacts libido, drive and ambition

"...the idea that bonding with another human - not with your job, smart phone or latest Apple device - promotes feel good hormones such as oxytocin is accepted science..."
Helen Hawkes, 2016

Changing social roles like the single person households (more isolation), sole focus on job, time pressure, tight economy, increased competition, less support, etc are threatening our hormonal balance, eg regular circumstances which encourage the production of stress-related hormones (adrenaline, cortisol, etc) rather than the bonding ones (oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine, etc)

(source: John Medina, 2009; David Rock, 2009; Linda Ray, 2012)


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