What Is The Courage Hormone?
Have you ever heard of the courage hormone and do you have any idea what it does? Is it perhaps a hormone that helps to make us brave?
When I first heard about this hormone, my first thoughts were that it may be cortisol, adrenaline, or even testosterone. But it turns out that I was wrong.
I have been speaking about this hormone often and it is the one that is the most under-appreciated giant hormone personality in our health and even our lives.
This hormone is capable of destroying high levels of chronic stress hormones such as cortisol and their negative effects.
Why this hormone is known as the courage hormone and the way it works is that when it is stimulated, this hormone down-regulates our fear response and can stop the freeze or flee response, also known as the fight or flight response. When the hormone is activated, it increases our social awareness and activates the areas of the brain that are associated with value and meaning. It has been shown that it results in people helping others more easily, while also making them more trustworthy and more trusting.
The hormone we’re talking about here is oxytocin. Oxytocin promotes empathy, opens our thinking to include others, and helps to drive our mental awareness to what is important to us. It stimulates trust and this, in turn, gives us the courage to take action in our social world. It makes us fearless and become braver with more compassion.
Oxytocin has also been called the “love” hormone or the “bonding” hormone, and it is strongly stimulated in close, familiar relationships, during intimacy, and during breastfeeding. It is also stimulated when you play with your kids, receive or give a compliment when you pet or stroke your cat or dog, when you shake someone’s hand or hug someone, when you write in your journal and when you talk.
The best social evidence of oxytocin’s power is how it changes our physiology when we laugh. We all know the expression that laughter is the best medicine and oxytocin is responsible for that.
To all the men out there – I certainly hope that you are not only reading this but also hear and understand the message.
Many men experience moderate to mild depression and write it off as being due to being a “driver,” the corporate environment, stress, having a type “A” personality, or being the provider. These issues are commonly known as the “Irritable Male Syndrome,” and they are very real. The good news is however that at these high levels, the issues are very responsive to “therapy” using oxytocin. Keep this in mind my brothers.
My friends, I extend a mental handshake and virtual hug as I tell you all that I love and appreciate you, and hope you are able to join me today in seeking out a little extra humor. We can all build up a little bit more courage together and live the life of the brave!
We can do better!