16 Ways To Increase Oxytocin Naturally and Lower Stress

Oxytocin, also called the “love hormone,” is a brain neurotransmitter that reduces stress and enhances trust and bonding in relationships. 

Oxytocin is produced by the brain’s hypothalamus.

This love chemical has earned the reputation of getting released whenever you physically touch someone you love or care for or get close to a person in an act of hugging or sexual intimacy.

Our body produces oxytocin naturally, but if you want to improve your emotional health and lower stress, you can try these tips to naturally increase oxytocin levels in your brain.

Share your emotions

Talking to someone you love and care for and sharing your emotions can be a great way to naturally release oxytocin. 

Letting someone know you love and appreciate them can also strengthen your emotional connection and often prompt a hand squeeze, hug, or kiss. It can also promote prosocial feelings and behaviors on both sides.

Have sex

Sexual intimacy is a great way to boost oxytocin levels naturally. Having an orgasm, in particular, can raise your oxytocin levels within a short duration.

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Practice meditation

Natural oxytocin secretion is stimulated when you practice mindfulness meditation. Slow and deep breathing during meditation sessions can channel your thoughts of love, empathy, and kindness to yourself and those you love.

Spend time with family and friends

Spending time with family and friends can make a huge difference to your emotional well-being. 

Spending time with your family and friends can help you feel socially supported and reduce feelings of loneliness and anxiety.

These benefits can be attributed to the rise in oxytocin function. The positive emotions you experience when you are around your loved ones can help you experience the trust and affection you have for each other and foster better relationships.


Something as simple as a touch can help stimulate oxytocin production. Human touch can create a powerful healing effect. 

Simple acts, such as walking with your partner holding each other’s hands, giving a hug, kissing, and cuddling, increase oxytocin levels naturally.

Engage in frequent social interactions

Engaging in meaningful social interactions and investing in your personal and social relationships can help your body produce oxytocin. 

For example, saying “I love you” to someone you love or care for can trigger oxytocin secretin. These meaningful interactions can also increase emotional intimacy and improve your mental well-being.

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Practice yoga

Certain studies propose that regular yoga practice may contribute to stress reduction, improved mood, and better sleep.

These benefits can be attributed to the increase in oxytocin production facilitated by yoga practices.

Listen to music

Listening to music of your choice can help you feel better and improve oxytocin levels. Listening to music has several other benefits, such as improving your mood and lowering stress. 

Enjoy a soothing massage

A soothing massage using aromatic oils can create relaxation at physical and emotional levels and help increase your oxytocin levels naturally.

Just 15 minutes of massage is often enough to create relaxation and boost oxytocin levels. 

Moreover, oxytocin production also rises in the person who is giving the massage. Massage is also found to increase the ability for friendly interactions and could be used to resolve marital conflicts.

This means you do not have to get a massage from a professional massage therapist to see these benefits. A massage from your partner might work too.

Give a gift

Engaging in acts of kindness, such as giving small gifts, can be a source of joy for both the giver and the receiver.

Giving gifts to someone, even if it is not extravagant, can encourage the production and release of oxytocin.

A healthy sweet treat or flowers are often enough to make the receiver feel good as well as you. 

So, you can make giving small gifts and extending kindness your everyday habit to elevate the levels of the feel-good neurochemical oxytocin.

Cook together

Cooking and sharing meals with loved ones can be a rewarding and bonding experience. It also offers a great way to bond with others.

You can plan to prepare a meal with your partner or friends so that you can enjoy the wholesome experience and bond over its creation.

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Share an eye gaze

Gazing into the eyes of someone you love just for a minute can quickly create a sense of calmness and connectedness, thus prompting the release of oxytocin. This could even extend to your pets.

Engage in community service

Engaging in community service will reward you with high levels of feel-good oxytocin. 

Prosocial behaviors, such as doing acts of kindness to others or helping someone in need, can promote your self-esteem and increase your self-confidence. 

Being of service to others is also associated with happiness, contentment, and satisfaction with life.

You can consider volunteering at a community center or an animal shelter or visiting a retirement home. You could also mentor a young person. 

Break bread with your loved ones

Sharing food over a conversation is a great bonding activity you can try to stimulate oxytocin production.

We are living in a fast-paced, digital world where we often eat alone, on the go. Also, most people nowadays eat their meals in front of a digital screen.

Eating alone can feed stress and contribute to feelings of loneliness. On the other hand, enjoying a meal with your family at home or colleagues at the workplace can improve your mood and foster healthy relationships.

Have pets

Humans and pets have a close relationship. Having pets can reduce your sense of loneliness.

Petting your dog or cat can trigger the release of the neurochemical of trust, oxytocin, and provide significant relief from mental health issues such as depression and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

This is one of the reasons why pet therapy is often included in the treatment plan of patients with these conditions. 

Be a listener

Having a conversation does not always mean talking and sharing your own experiences. It also involves being a listener to make your conversations truly count.

Empathic listening can boost oxytocin levels naturally. Active listening can also contribute to stronger personal relationships and social interactions. It can improve emotional bonding and increase feelings of connection and empathy. 

This means increasing your oxytocin level can sometimes be as easy as truly listening to what someone has to say. 

Remember that it is easy to tell someone that you care for them, but it is active listening that shows you really mean it.

What are the signs of low oxytocin?

Low oxytocin levels are associated with stress, anxiety, and low mood. It can also create a feeling as if your survival is at risk. Low oxytocin levels are also associated with a higher risk of depression.

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What are the benefits of oxytocin?

Oxytocin is associated with several benefits, including:

  • Reduced stress.
  • Lowered risk of depression.
  • Improved emotional bonding.
  • Increase in feelings of connection and empathy. 
  • Higher self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Sense of calmness and connectedness.
  • Better social bonds and social behaviors.
  • Happiness, contentment, and satisfaction with life.


Adopting these natural ways to increase your oxytocin levels will improve your emotional wellness. It will foster loving and caring relationships and create a positive impact on your social behaviors.

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  4. Nagasawa M, Mitsui S, En S, Ohtani N, Ohta M, Sakuma Y, Onaka T, Mogi K, Kikusui T. Social evolution. Oxytocin-gaze positive loop and the coevolution of human-dog bonds. Science. 2015 Apr 17;348(6232):333-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1261022. Epub 2015 Apr 16. PMID: 25883356.
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