Oxytocin is the chemical of connection. It's called the cuddle chemical because it's responsible for those warm, fuzzy feelings. Oxytocin also helps us feel trust, generosity, team spirit … most positive social interactions are fueled by oxytocin.
Oxytocin also improves digestion, counteracts stress, calms anxiety and makes us more resilient. It's good stuff!
When people hear about oxytocin, they say, "Where can I get me some?"
There are lots of things we can do to get an oxytocin rush: hugging and snuggling; sex; helping someone; playing with your pet; even shaking hands with a stranger. The key is, it has to feel safe and good to do; otherwise, you'll get the fear chemicals going instead.
But sometimes, things that should feel good … don't. That's because, while everyone's brain makes oxytocin, releasing some when we have the opportunity for connection is a learned response.
So, if you've had bad relationships, weren't nurtured enough as a child, etc., you might not release oxytocin when a stranger smiles at you. This can make it feel hard to connect with others.
The good news is, we can retrain our brains so that we can feel good when we're with others, so that we can reach out to them when we're lonely, so we can make new friends and find love.
Sometimes, the oxytocin response needs a little help. Researchers have found that inhaling oxytocin can help people get over social anxiety. It can make us more generous, and it can help us tune in to other people's feelings better. Simply inhaling oxytocin won't make you into something you're not, but it can help you get over the hump and open up a bit.
At an Oxytocin Party, we'll consciously practice staying present and connected. We'll use a mix of exercises, games and discussion to explore connection in an experiential way. And we'll test whether a new oxytocin product, Oxytocin Factor, can make a difference.
Testing Oxytocin Factor is completely optional. You can still enjoy this party without it.
You will have the option to share samples of oxytocin. If you prefer, you can purchase an individual bottle at $30 (50 percent off retail).
For more about this product, listen to the audio interview at Susan's blog, Hug the Monkey.
What to expect
•Learn about the science of love and connection
•Understand and change your brain's habitual responses in social situations
•Experience the possibility of connecting in a deeper way
•Be your own science experiment
•See how connecting with others changes the way you think and feel
What are Oxytocin Parties like?
•A safe place to experience connection
•Optional psychology quiz at the beginning and end
•A mix of socializing, communication games and discussion
•Optional testing of Oxytocin Factor product
•Fourth Thursday of every month
We'll provide light snacks and beverages, and we're asking for donations to cover the cost of the room and the oxytocin.
This event is in partnership with the Date Me, If You Dare Meetup. We want to maintain somewhat of a gender balance, so you may be put on the waiting list even if there are still openings.