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Reach out to pals when feeling sad

Researchers have revealed that reaching out to other people during a stressful event is an effective way to improve your mood

sex and relationships Updated: Jul 01, 2013 16:55 IST

Researchers at Concordia University suggest that the hormone oxytocin may help you accomplish just that.Mark Ellenbogen and Christopher Cardoso, researchers in Concordia’s Centre for Research in Human Development are taking a closer look at oxytocin, a hormone traditionally studied for its role in childbirth and breastfeeding, and more recently for its effect on social behaviour.

Their latest study shows that oxytocin can increase a person’s trust in others following social rejection.Ellenbogen said it means that instead of the traditional ‘fight or flight’ response to social conflict where people get revved up to respond to a challenge or run away from it, oxytocin may promote the ‘tend and befriend’ response where people reach out to others for support after a stressful event.“That can, in turn, strengthen social bonds and may be a healthier way to cope,” he said.Cardoso, who is a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology, said that studying oxytocin may provide future options for those who suffer from mental health conditions characterized by high levels of stress and low levels of social support, like depression.The study is published in the peer-reviewed journal Psychoneuroendocrinology. (ANI)

First Published: Jun 27, 2013 14:51 IST