Monday, November 2, 2015

The Science of Happiness: Five Surprising Ways Oxytocin Shapes Your Social Life

10/20/2015: Five Surprising Ways Oxytocin Shapes Your Social Life

Another article! This one, well, You've already read the headline twice; it seems pretty self-explanatory.  Go check it out: Jeremy Adam Smith published it to the Greater Good website in October of 2013.

chemical structure of oxytocin
chemical structure of oxytocin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As discussed previously [link to 10/22], oxytocin bonds us.  But it can also divide us -- it seems to make us jealous and envious.

Here's a shortcut to the titular "five surprising ways":
  1. If you're in a relationship and high on oxytocin, you avoid people who might be trying to replace your partner.
  2. It'll make you trash-talk -- but it'll also make you think people who trash-talk are dicks.
  3. It's great for teamwork, not so great for thinking for yourself.
  4. It makes us more patriotic, but not as much as you'd think.
  5. We're smart enough to override oxytocin.  So we should use our smarts to make sure the people triggering our happy juices are the ones we want to emulate.
Did you read the whole thing? What do you think?

Three Good Things:
  1. I'm steadily working my way through my to-do list.  At the time of writing it's early in the day, yet, but several of the things I planned to do took a lot less time than I anticipated. A sense of accomplishment is good for happiness!
  2. This is technically from last night, but screw it: I made a really good, relatively low-cal dinner last night. Chicken parm casserole: put the uncooked pasta, raw chicken, sauce, broth, and some spices in a baking pan, bake until everything is pretty much cooked, then add cheese and topping, bake until gooey, and broil until the topping is crispy.  I'm already making plans on substituting sausage or Alfredo sauce or just adding a ton of veggies. 
  3. Laundry day.  I used to hate laundry day, since it meant hauling my clothes down the block, fighting neighbors for machines, and basically getting nothing accomplished while I waited for my loads to finish. But now I have two washing machines (don't ask), a dryer, and a drying rack that just happens to be set up next to the dehumidifier. I can get a lot more laundry done a lot more quickly and still get a lot done in the meantime. Still not a huge fan, but the increased ease is a definite good thing.

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