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It’s been nicknamed the “love drug,” the “cuddle chemical,” and the “hug hormone.” It’s center stage during happy occasions, public and private. It helps build trust, bond groups, and increase cooperation among people.

Even Billie Eilish knows its importance, singing, “You know I need you for the oxytocin,” in her song “Oxytocin.”

So, what is this thing that creates feelings of warmth and love in us? And how can we produce more of it?

What Is Oxytocin?

Oxytocin is a hormone and neurotransmitter. Your brain’s hypothalamus produces it, and the pituitary gland secretes it.

One of oxytocin’s major roles is helping us remember faces. It also provides anxiety relief and helps reduce depression. In other words, oxytocin may increase your happiness levels and make you want to be around people more often.

When people are stressed, their bodies produce a hormone called cortisol, which is used to regulate blood pressure, decrease inflammation, and boost energy, among other things.

Oxytocin production, though, also increases during times of stress. Some researchers think this is to help you stand your ground during a “flight or fight” moment or encourage social bonding, which would reduce anxiety.

It appears, then, that our bodies produce oxytocin to help keep cortisol levels balanced.

Scaling Up Your Oxytocin

There are several ways to produce oxytocin. Cuddling, hugging, and kissing are three ways that grab most people’s attention. Other ways include cooking and eating with someone, active listening, telling someone how you feel, and spending time with friends.

Another great way to increase oxytocin levels in yourself is through the co-creation of music. Imagine you’re in a group setting and some negative team dynamics are occurring. During a stressful situation like that, your body will naturally produce cortisol.

Scientific studies have shown over and over again that co-creating music improves focus, moods, and motivation. It also increases social bonding. So, when you’re playing in a band, singing in a choir, co-creating songs together, your brains produce oxytocin to counteract cortisol. The oxytocin affects your brain’s prefrontal cortex, where you can then operate from a place of creativity and empathy.

Whether it’s a Team Anthem experience, a Song Slam session, or a LipSync Battle, SongDivision can help you and your team increase oxytocin levels, putting everyone in the perfect brain space for collaborating and building trust.

Connect with us to learn more about how we can help your teams bond.