Can ecstasy be a natural state of being?
50 years ago Teilhart de Chardin predicted that human beings will learn to harness the energies of love, and the idea will be as evolutionary as ability to harness fire.
What is love anyway?
Biologically, it is all to do with oxytocin, the ‘love hormone’, which is a biologically simple molecule which regulates parasympathetic nervous system (aka ‘chill-out’ system, and yes, it is a technical term).
Oxytocin is a shy hormone and will shy-away when adrenalin kicks in, switching on a sympathetic system (aka fight/flight/freeze system).
Simply looking at it: it is either oxytocin or adrenaline working at any given time.
Naturally, the question popped up in my mind, in everyday environment, which state is our default state and which one is complementary? That is, are we naturally living in a state of love and ecstasy or fear and switching on the love mode when we feel safe enough? So what happens when oxytocin is happily flowing in our system? We simply feel more connected, generous and trustful of others and ourselves. We trust that the world is a safe place; hence we tend to be more free, relaxed and spontaneous. As we are not as guarded, we have more energy to focus on our pursuits and follow our dreams.
Whereas when we operate on adrenaline, we are ready to defend our wellbeing. This cocktail of chemicals and hormones boosts your energy supplies to be very aware and vigilant of the environment.
I think it was great when human beings were on the menu, and not so good when it influences depression, difficult childbirths and breastfeeding, low sex drives, stiff unhealthy bodies, even our lack of care for our own planet, as if we need to dominate over our own home rather than looking after it.
So how, can we reprogram our bodies to operate on a ‘Love Mode’ by a default and allow the adrenaline system to kick in as and when appropriate?
Let’s look into how we ended up being territorial and suspicious of everything and everyone, rather than basking in an orgasmic oxytocin high. There must have been some benefits! It seems, as a civilization, we learnt to harness aggression because of the ‘survival of the fittest’ perception. We needed to defend our homes from predators, from wars etc. We harness our capacity for aggression from very early, that is… from birth. We separate a mother from her baby just during the time when we have the biggest ‘dose’ of oxytocin in our system. Just when we can experience the most profound connection which lasts a lifetime, just when the mother’s DNA can arrange and re-arrange in the most blissful, healthy and empowering combinations, the baby is removed, weighed and perhaps put in a glass box. Then, we are somehow taught that pleasure is something we experience during the weekend or a holiday (if you are lucky!).
On top of this, we are valuing a brain work more than physical work. We rigidify our spontaneous body movements to almost a null! Plus, our go, go, go modern lifestyle coupled with high sugar, carbs, caffeine diet… yawn!
I don’t even want to go there. Been there, done that, heard this…
Now that we know how we ended up operating on our territorial mode, we can practise the other ways of being. Since we are the creatures of habit, we just need to repeat things over and over until they become habit. To invest in one’s capacity to love is a good investment indeed, I would say! Then we tend to live longer, happier and with far less stress. And it is pretty awesome list of things to do:
- Make love (ha! How did it end up as a first thing in my list?). Some research suggests that for men, oxytocin is only released when they experience orgasm with someone they love (just saying!).
- Calm your mind, and move your body in a relaxed way. Try Meditation, Relaxation, Yoga, Breathing Techniques, Tai Chi, Qui Gong, and Pilates… something that is meditative and slow.
- Hug people who are open to hold you in a cuddle for longer than 3 seconds. As it is proved by our modern religion that is called ‘science’ that hug which lasts more than 20 seconds releases oxytocin in your body (purrrr…).
- Show compassion. Try volunteering, give some money away to charity or simply be kind, encouraging, praise others around you and like those pics of your friends on Facebook!
- Kiss more… self-explanatory (I hope!), right?
- Get yourself more ‘safe’ touch in your life with a good massage or tactile types of yoga (e.g. Partner Yoga or AcroYoga)
- If you happen to be a woman AND giving birth have a skin to skin contact with your baby (regardless if you have given birth naturally or not). If you are a newly baked daddy – I am sure holding your beloved baby will fill your whole being with love too!
- Laugh and smile. Do I need to get into how to do this? Watch some feel-good films, meet people that make you laugh, watch stand-up comedies, maybe even try laughter yoga…
- Be trustworthy as being trusted releases this looooove hormone too!
- Eat high protein foods
- Train yourself that you are entitled for pleasure any day, everyday! Simply, follow your bliss: surround yourself with smells, music, colours you love, and people whom you feel good with. Vocally hug people! Make a call to your friend for a chat about nothing. Just connect, connect, connect!
Happy evolutionary shifting in the direction of growth. Your Loveologist.