Few things feel as good as being around someone that loves you. Someone that you can trust. Oxytocin is the neurotransmitter that works in the brain to create feelings of love, bonding & trust.
It’s a cure to depression. Depression is often caused by feelings of isolation and loneliness. When we are alone, the world feels like a scary place. Our stress levels increase, which cause many negative reactions that make us feel ill and cause disease in the body.
MDMA, or ecstasy, is a recreational drug that increases levels of oxytocin artificially. Many people take it at parties and can feel this effect. Unfortunately the effect does not last long, and is not “real”. This results in the opposite effect of causing depression, which many people call the “terrible Tuesday” if they took it on Saturday.
Drugs and alcohol don’t work long-term. So if you’re feeling depressed and isolated, the cure for this is to create connections that are genuine so your brain can create this chemical naturally.
Here are some ways you can do this on your own:
- putting pictures of family members and friends that you trust on your wall
- getting a pet, or helping to take care of someone else’s pet if you can’t have one
- volunteering at a hospital or old age home
- connecting with people online in a forum where people are honest about their feelings and can speak openly
- spending time with friends and family that you trust
- engaging in physical contact with others
- having a massage
- working on a shared project for your community
- show kindness empathy and gratitude
- resolving conflicts with others and making peace
Many of us feel single, alone and in need of love in our lives. I grew up in the West, and the culture I was exposed to tried to teach me that casual sex and uncommitted relationships are fulfilling. In time I found that some people react negatively to these ideas by backing off and spending many years alone and celibate, while others try these types of relationships only to end up feeling more isolated and insecure.
The truth is that humans are wired for connection, and that partnership and pair-bonding provide a foundation we need so we can grow as people.
Relationships aren’t easy, but they are infinitely rewarding. Besides providing the oxytocin we need to function, they also serve as vehicles for self-improvement through learning how to compromise, communicate and solve problems.
So if you’re ready to make that happen for you, I have a video with a little story and an exercise that you can do right now:
If you can’t watch the video, here are the steps in the meditation:
(1) Acknowledge that love is missing in your life, and that you’re feeling vulnerable right now
(2) Believe that you deserve it. Even if you don’t look the way you want to look, or if others told you aren’t worthy of love. This is a very important step. You must believe you deserve it, because you do!
(3) Focus on your physical heart and feel the blood pumping in your veins and circulating throughout your body
(4) Complete the following sentence: “I deserve love even if ________” and in the space list all your perceived faults.
For example, “I deserve love even if I misbehaved in the past. I deserve love even if I carry excess weight. I deserve love even if I’m too short/skinny/overweight. I deserve love even if I was abused. I deserve love even if broke the law. I deserve love even if I abused myself with drugs, alcohol or smoking. I deserve love even if I made terrible mistakes and feel guilt or shame.”
And finally, “I deserve love no matter what!”. Shout it to yourself!
(5) Now, imagine that you have met someone that is perfect for you. Don’t focus on what they look like, but focus on the feeling of being secure in that relationship. That you’re not leaving them, and they aren’t leaving you, ever.
Don’t let your mind trick you into thinking this is not possible, because it is very possible and billions of people are in these types of relationships in many parts of the world. I have seen it, and I believe in it 100%.
(6) Next, picture 5 ways you will show love to this person. It starts with you. How will you take care of them? What things will you do each day to make them feel loved? Will you cook for them? Buy them presents? Do their laundry? Serve them tea and cookies? What talents do you have that you can share? Maybe you’re a chef and can cook amazing food. Or maybe you can create graphic art or a website. Think of at least 5 ways.
These little things you will do each day are the most important things. Don’t think too much about what they can do for you. All that is coming, and it will be a wonderful surprise!
(7) Lastly, focus on your heart centre and the feelings being created within it. It may be subtle at first, but that feeling is oxytocin!
(8) Take a few deep breaths, and open your eyes.
Does that feel better? Even a little bit? You may have to do this exercise a few times to create that feeling because sometimes if we are lonely and depressed for a long time we can forget what love feels like.
I hope this exercise has helped you feel that love again, because once you know what it feels like your brain will pattern it and look for ways to create that feeling again and again.
And remember, you are never totally alone! There are so many of us that have been where you are. Breathe, believe, and it will happen!