You see these words plastered all over magazines in the line at the grocery store. Empty promises to look and feel ten years younger. A product is usually tucked in there somewhere but the main idea is always this: wear sunscreen and drink lots of water. While this isn’t necessarily untrue (it does help!) Nobody is really buying that it will take ten years off your face and body. However, Dr. David Weeks, the neuropsychologist from the Royal Edinburg Hospital conducted a study that showed genetics were only 25% responsible for how young we look and feel and that the rest is linked to behavior. So what is the magic formula, the well kept beauty secret that will restore youth and luster to our lives?
Togetherness. Gathering. Laughing. Smiling. In other words, being happy! “Oh great.” You might think. “How am I supposed to pull that off when I feel miserable?” It’s true that we don’t go through this life unscathed and some lives are significantly harder than others. Yet, studies show that the more we put a smile on our face, even if it is forced, our body responds to this with a boost in oxytocin levels. Oxytocin.
The hormone’s influence on our behavior and physiology originates in the brain where it’s produced by a structure called the hypothalamus and then transfers to the pituitary gland which releases into the bloodstream. Levels of oxytocin tend to be higher during social interaction. “It’s like a hormone of attachment, you might say,” said Carol Rinkleib Ellison, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Loomis, California and former assistant clinical psychiatry professor at the University of California, San Francisco. “It creates feelings of calm and closeness.”
When you gather with those you trust and love and learn to enjoy company and relax with company your oxytocin levels raise significantly. In fact, the more you laugh, kiss and interact with those you sincerely love the more you sleep better at night and your cortisol levels are lowered. Cortisol floods the body when you are stressed. This helps us take action when we find ourselves in a physically demanding situation and our fight or flight response takes over. However, our bodies have a difficult time discerning between stress from a scary event and emotional stress. Emotional stress also significantly increases cortisol in the body but what is worse, it stays there. Prolonged levels of stress disrupts nearly every system in our body. It can suppress our immune system, upset our digestive and reproductive systems, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and speed up the aging process. It is also the worst thing for our complexion. In fact, stress hormones like cortisol are linked to wrinkles, says Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist. What blocks cortisol? Oxytocin.
You might be thinking life is just too stressful to try to fight stress. We get that. Life isn’t easy. But we can make the most of any situation. We can choose to smile. We can choose to connect. If it is necessary we can choose to get help. What we cannot afford to do is isolate ourselves. A sense of community is very strong in many different cultures around the world. In fact, many cultures thrive and depend on community.
So the next time you are debating whether or not to have your loved ones over for dinner or to go that event with your best friend that you keep putting off, we highly recommend you do it. Loving others for their sake…and your own! We need each other!
By the way! Last week we had a giveaway!
We are excited about this new creation in our homemade shop!
This is a wonderful find for summertime decor, boys nursery or anyone who just loves the sea! This sign spells Salt Water on a beautifully “beach weathered” 12×16″ gray wooden sign. A handmade braided rope is attached for easy hanging.
We are happy to announce that Linda Gabbard is our winner of this sweet little sign!
If you would like to stay updated with more giveaways then join our circle! Joining our circle doesn’t mean we’ll be sending you daily emails (we don’t want to overwhelm you!) but it does mean you will be sent exclusive discount codes and exciting new product sneak peaks from time to time. Thanks for tuning in!
❤ Cate & Nancy