Friday, June 21, 2013

The Supernatural Love Hormone

Sometimes I can't relax when something is out of place. I'm not super neat and definitely not a germaphobe, but if a picture is hanging goofy on a wall and it's in my line of sight, I'll fix it so I can stop looking at it. Because there is something inside of me that can't let that stuff go.

My husband likes to take his socks off with a big, satisfied sigh of contentment when he's done for the day and ready to relax. Knowing how I have a compulsive problem with random things being out of place, this often bothers me. How can I be expected to rest my mind with random dirty socks in my line of sight? And now, our 8 year old has picked up this sock habit and I often find her socks in the kitchen (on the table - really?!?), the living room, the bathroom, wherever she slowed down after walking in the door.

Seemingly completely unrelated to either my strange neurosis or socks, is the Good Sex classes and Premarital Sex Class that Micheal and I have been teaching. In all our research (wink, wink... or not), one of the best things to learn about and teach has been the Love Hormone. Our bodies produce Oxytocin, but more at certain times, like sex and giving birth, and though it's still being studied this great hormone has some great side effects, like:

evokes feelings of contentment
reduces anxiety
increases feelings of calmness and security around your mate
protects against stress
increases trust
reduces fear
increases empathy
increases generosity

One of my personal observations of the Love Hormone in action involves those socks. Those stinking (not really), messing up my view, socks. I notice that when those things are bothering me, the answer isn't to get ticked off and blow up. It's not even to get up and pick up the socks. It's usually to choose to be more intimate with my spouse. Whether that's actually sex or not doesn't seem to matter. By choosing to be intimate, choosing to be in close emotional, physical, spiritual proximity, I suddenly and inexplicably have extra grace and forgiveness for the socks on the floor. Or the whatever that didn't get done, and most other things that would irritate me, cause anxiety or stress, and generally make me really unlikeable. The love hormone kicks in. I love me some love hormone!

Both surprisingly, and not surprisingly, I'm learning that this is true in my relationship with God. When I choose to press into my relationship with Him, our relationship is better. AND, because He cares about more than just our relationship, I find that I am infused with grace, forgiveness, love, mercy... I get frustrated, angry, emotional, human... and I spend time with God, get some of that supernatural love hormone, and I can suddenly make it through the day.

Something to think about! Got love hormone?