Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

TED Tuesday: Paul Zak: Trust, morality — and oxytocin

Dr. Love, as he is affectionately known, Paul Zak discusses his research on the molecule of connection — oxytocin. While this may be an oversimplification, he presents fascinating findings on experiments of trust and trustworthiness, and opines on whether oxytocin may be the biological arbiter of morality.

When we feel trust, trusted, and connected our brains release oxytocin. However, 5% of the population does not release oxytocin on stimulus. Women who have been sexually abused, for instance, and not surprisingly, may not produce oxytocin in situations where it is produced for others. Testosterone may inhibit oxytocin. Go figure, guys.


I found it surprising that using social media increases oxytocin. Perhaps this explains its broad appeal.

What is Dr. Love’s prescription? Eight hugs a day. I’m about eight shy for today, so I’d better get busy!

For a more critical perspective on oxytocin read here.

  • Ellie

    Let’s see..oxytocin is not like oxycodone, yes? Anyway, I like the 8 hugs a day regime and tonight at the Bobcat I came around the bar and gave bartender Dana his first hug of the day. It seemed to make him happy. Maybe you’re onto something, Dr. K. A cyber hug to you!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment PurePersistence

    Sending a virtual hug to elevate your oxytocin levels. :)

Previous Posts

Meditating on Resistance
Earlier this season, just about the time when kids went back to school, I started noticing something. Roxy, a dog in my neighborhood would ...

posted 12:24:08pm Nov. 02, 2015 | read full post »

How to Live Well with Chronic Illness and Pain
I wrote a prepublication endorsement for Toni Bernhard’s latest book: How to Live Well With Chronic Illness and Pain:  As a psychotherapist treating chronic pain, I wish this book had been written years ago. This is an invaluable guide for ...

posted 11:38:57am Oct. 14, 2015 | read full post »

S is for Sangha
Mindfulness A to Z official release is here! Here is an excerpt from "S is for Sangha" The sangha is the community of people who follow the teachings of the Buddha, or more generically, anyone who engages in mindfulness meditation. When ...

posted 10:31:30am Sep. 22, 2015 | read full post »

E is for Effort
Mindfulness A to Z official release is tomorrow! Here is an excerpt from "E is for Effort" We may need to encourage ourselves gently in the direction of practice. Challenges arise. Daily life is complicated and busy; it may seem like we ...

posted 3:25:12pm Sep. 21, 2015 | read full post »

S is for Self
Mindfulness A to Z official release is tomorrow! Here is an excerpt from "S is for Self" Who are you? Emily Dickinson would reply: I’m nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too? Most of us would naturally reply, “I am me.” More ...

posted 10:28:58am Sep. 21, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.