Oxytocin: The Antidote To Cortisol

May 2, 2019

My husband, the comedian works on several cruises a year and we’ve never actually joined him – but we did last week and we had the best time!

Like most people in need of a getaway, my vacation hopes included relaxing and coming down off the crazy amount of stress the last six months have brought me, getting some warm sun after this dreary winter and maybe read a book. Mostly I wanted to feel calm, connected to my family, have some time to just be with my hubby and force myself to unplug from work (I say force because it’s not easy for me!)

Well my vacation was a smashing success and I came home staring at a mountain of work with a clear mind and excitement vs. stress about tackling it, totally connected to my beautiful kids, completely in love with my husband and basically happy as can be!

Who’s been there?

We take a break, realize how very much we needed it, feel calm, less stressed and finally happy and vow to keep it going when we’re back in the real world – which is hard right?

Here’s the hormonal imbalance we’re facing as we try to keep the chill vacation vibe going in our real lives: high cortisol and low oxytocin.

The stress of the past six months has had me over-taxed, spread too thin, felt like I was failing on every front – basically a hangry b*tch!

Order Hangry and get some AMAZING bonuses right now!

If you’ve ever felt like a Hangry B*tch and are ready to balance your hormones and restore your joy in just 5 simple steps then Hangry is for you!


My cortisol was absolutely out of whack in a big, big way. My sleep – which had finally improved – started to wane, my belly felt more inflamed and jiggly, I was breaking out and I was cranky as heck with my husband and struggled to keep my cool with my kiddos. I consider myself someone with moderate to severe anxiety that I’ve learned to manage (i.e. with tools like the Five Pillars from Hangry and certain supplements) but lately I was having a hard time controlling it because of the stress.

You probably know about the stress hormone cortisol, but the other hormone that was way out of balance for me lately was oxytocin.

Oxytocin is an important hormone associated most commonly with bonding with our babies after birth but it’s also key in sexual arousal, trust and connection to someone else, and mood (it keeps you calm vs. anxious). It’s the love hormone, the cuddle hormone, the laughter hormone and you release it when you look into the eyes of your child, when you’re in love, when you have an orgasm, when you laugh, play, hug and do nice things for people.

And it tanks when your cortisol is high.

When under stress have you ever felt like:

  • You just want to stay home vs. wanting to socialize?
  • See someone you know walking down the street and instead of saying hi, you look down or cross to the other side to avoid interacting?
  • Do you find yourself longing for yet avoiding love and connection cuz you just don’t have the energy?

I’ve done all of these things and when my stress goes up the first thing I do is stop talking to my friends, detach from my husband and feel lonely, sad and overwhelmed.

And it’s not obvious we’re doing this until we’re feeling pretty miserable. It’s not like we intentionally disconnect, but this low oxytocin can cause us to unconsciously walk away from things and people we love. Things go downhill from here quickly especially in our relationships because often the people we love have no idea why we’re being distant and as humans do, they can easily take it personally.

I have been so lucky that my friends and my husband forgive me when I do this because it’s happened sadly way more than once. During my most stressful times, when I need my people the most, I withdraw and go it alone – which of course makes it so much worse!

So how do we get more oxytocin?

First, keep cortisol in check! You know we cover this in great detail from what to eat, how to exercise and all the mindset and stress management tools in Hangry so pre-order that baby today!

In short though, to balance cortisol you want to manage stress from all angles be that metabolic (i.e. blood sugar, poor gut health, inflammation, nutrient deficiencies, etc.), mental/emotional, doing too much/overextending yourself, not getting enough sleep, over-exercising, etc. And you want to be sure you have the tools to manage stress that really work for you. Again, we teach all that and more in Hangry.

Order Hangry and get some AMAZING bonuses right now!

If you’ve ever felt like a Hangry B*tch and are ready to balance your hormones and restore your joy in just 5 simple steps then Hangry is for you!


Next, do things that raise oxytocin because that will also help normalize cortisol.

There are several things that directly raise oxytocin and they are all super fun to do! Unlike so many of our healthy habits which require some effort, these feel easy and good to do.

Combat cortisol and boost oxytocin by:

  • Hugging and cuddling
  • Laughing
  • Look into someone’s eyes
  • Smile
  • Be grateful
  • Be present #fullengagementliving
  • Play with your kids or your dog
  • Do anything you find fun or enjoyable: art, music, dancing, etc. #bewhoyouare
  • Have orgasms

It’s funny because we don’t even talk directly about oxytocin in Hangry but when I look at the tools we teach in this book well, they are all oxytocin boosters!

Well I did every single one of those things on the list while I was on vacation and consequently back home I’m still riding that oxytocin wave of connection and bliss. Now the task is to keep that going as life goes back to normal and the stress of work, mommying, etc. ramp back up.

To keep a vacation vibe or even just a good mood going we need to keep doing all those things! As many as we can as often as we can.

So cuddle, smile, laugh, connect, be kind, be grateful and be present. They will all boost this feel good hormone, oxytocin, and balance your stress response making you healthier and happier overall….and less of a hangry b*tch, amirite?

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