Week 1: Resilience with Rachael Hunter
Question: I now live alone. How can I boost Oxytocin levels especially in lockdown with no human touch? From Katie
Living alone doesn’t mean you need to miss out. There are lots of ways you can generate the same positive effect and boost oxytocin! Exercise can have the same effect, as can engaging in creative activities - sewing, art, playing an instrument and even creative writing and journaling have all been shown to have the same effect. Do what works for you and something you enjoy and can get really lost in! You can also get the same physiological response from pets too – even looking a pictures of animals, or friends and family will give the same oxytocin effect. Organising family photos or collating the family tree may provide that powerful feeling of connection. Practising daily gratitude as well as giving support and encouragement to others also has the same physiological impact and is such a wonderful daily practise. In fact, there is a bigger effect when we do something for others! So put pen to paper, write a letter, join a campaign or reach out to others. All of these things may seem quite simple but they can be very powerful and helpful for our mental health, as well as at a physiological level. I hope that’s help? Do let us know how you get on and share it with the community so others can pick up on your tips!
Question: Could you recommend a good book on the mind-body connection that is grounded in good empirical research? I am interested in deepening my understanding. Thank you. From Sarah
Hi, there are some great books out there and it depends how academic you want to go? I have heard great things about this book: “The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions”
by Esther M. Sternberg but haven’t managed to read it yet! “When the body keeps the score...” by van der Kolk is also good and highly relevant, though is very big! I would highly “Mind over medicine” by Dr Lissa Rankin which is easy to read summary of evidence but very relatable to MS. Just a few ideas but hopefully somewhere to start 1 Please do share with us any good books you come across too!
Take care and best wishes,
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