I'm hokey sometimes.
Okay, maybe a wee bit more than sometimes. What can I say? I dig the smiles that are brought on by cheesy lines of hope. Occasionally the smile is in tandem with an eye-roll, but it's all good.
I'm enjoying this particular post, however, because it's the first time I can put it out there in writing that my hokey-ness is backed up by research. I dig research almost as much as smiles (I'm a hokey nerd), so I'm delighted when I get to read new, interesting articles that can affect the way my clients live their lives in a positive way.
Infertility is no joke. The emotional roller coaster that one must ride when faced with this ridiculously difficult disease is not unlike the diagnosis of a terminal illness. That's right, folks. Research shows that infertility is a life crisis not unlike a cancer diagnosis. So, when I come across something (anything!) that can help someone struggling with this disease, I want to spread it around.
Today, I received an article from Positive Psychology News Daily about the neurotransmitter oxytocin and how it behaves in our bodies. Though I won't go into the details of the article here, the main gist is "oxytocin is released in the body when we feel safe and connected and tells the brain, 'Everything is all right.'" It also reduces the amount of the stress hormone, coritsol, in the body (most people understand the whole stress thing).
Lightbulb! Infertility makes one feel out of control, isolated, stressed out, and as if nothing will ever be right again. Oxytocin to the rescue! How do we get us some of that?
Oxytocin is naturally ocurring, and is released when one merely thinks of someone they love, during cuddle sessions, or thinking of happy faces to name just a few. (It's also released during breast-feeding -- a big "grrrr" to wanna-be-breast-feeding-moms out there struggling with infertility.)
One could also find it synthetically, though a brief Google shopping search brought up a vial of injectible oxytocin used to assist mammals in giving birth (grrr again). With fertility treatments involving a billion needles, I'd say skip the vial and go the natural route.
The article references a TED talk where Dr. Zak (also known as "Dr. Love") suggests increasing your oxytocin levels by hugging someone 8 times a day. I'm assuming he means hugging someone you know, although I haven't watched the entire video yet. Visions of random NYC subway train hugging come to mind....I'm thinking oxytocin would not be a part of that scene. Just sayin'.
With that, here's your Coping with Infertility Rx of the month: 8 Hugs a Day
Who will you hug?