Simple Stress Reduction

All of us with positive relationships with our mother know the value of a hug or kiss from her. When mothers soothe their children, levels of hormones associated with love and trust surge. Stress hormones plummet.

Now researchers have found that the same soothing effect can be obtained by just hearing your mother's voice. The study published recently in the Proceedings of the Royal Society and briefly described in the Guardian, involved 61 girls ages 7 to 12 in which their hormone levels were measured before, during and after a stressful assignment. As expected, oxytocin levels spiked when they saw their mother-oxytocin being the hormone that helps mothers bond with their infants. What was surprising, however, was that oxytocin levels rose to the same levels when the girls just spoke to their moms on the phone. It highlights that the human brain is wired to respond to not just sight and touch, but to sound.

So, the next time you are feeling stressed out, and you have the blessing of your mother still being alive, a call might be just the thing to reduce those stress levels-like you needed me to tell you that. But I'm still sure a physical visit would do both of you even more good. Regardless what the research says.

Jones LoflinComment