How Our Hormones Create Safe, Secure and Anxiety-free Lives
Whenever I think I know what I'm doing, that's when I start to worry.
It's this river running inside me: anxiety. Like background noise that's so strong and permanent you don't really hear it anymore. It's just there, the same as the air moves or my heart beats. I stop, sometimes. Knowing something has to change but unsure what, where, who, or how.
If I'm not anxious, what will I be?
How about loved, valued, self-assured. Confident that there is a foundation of strength in my life and in myself which I can fall back on in times of stress, when panic hits.
Those things don't come out of nowhere. Security and confidence are built up brick by brick, from the things that make us human -- from the things that keep us going, even when we don't exactly know what we're doing or why.
They're the opposite of social anxiety, compulsive behavior and stress.
Love is a necessary component of anxiety relief
Love is the basic building block of security, and often times sanity. Without it people no longer feel like people. Instead they see themselves as objects, devalued by any measure and powerless to boot.
The five love languages are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, Physical Touch
- Dr Gary Chapman
Just as the body needs sunlight to function best, it needs regular boosts of the hormones which are involved in love and trust, and which occur naturally when we are near other living beings, or deeply focused on relieving stress.
Oxytocin and social contact reduce anxiety
I read about some studies that clearly demonstrate the important role the hormone oxytocin plays in our sense of stability and calm. Happily it's also a hormone we have more control over than most.
Basically it's the hormone that allows us to self-soothe, and which produces feelings of joy or togetherness when in social situations. It binds us to each other through one of the most natural modes we have: The sense of touch.
If you've found comfort when cuddling up with a dog, petting a cat, or holding a human type, part of that's oxytocin. If you've ever felt purely and simply good about holding someone's hand, same thing.
In women, receiving non-sexual touch from a partner has been shown to lower blood pressure.
And in practitioners of long term meditation, deep breathing and prayer, it has been shown that the subsequent "relaxation response alters the expression of genes involved with processes such as inflammation, programmed cell death and how the body handles free radicals."
The mind can alter matter. So give yourself permission to get all touchy-feely. It just may go a good long way toward treating anxiety.
White, K. (2011, February 1). How Our Hormones Create Safe, Secure and Anxiety-free Lives, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 7 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/treatinganxiety/2011/02/how-our-hormones-create-safe-secure-and-anxiety-free-lives