Manage risk and read minds with Oxytocin
Oxytocin is often referred to as the mindreading hormone. This is because it help us slowdown long enough to observe and contemplate the reality/risks ratio.
What is risk?
Almost all human behavior carries risk. Risk taking begins with who we are, our body of experiences, our search for survival and what we want, all wrapped up into a big mathematical calculation. Risk is more than just sitting at a poker table scanning for tells. It’s all of life. Life’s decisions. From the moment we wake up and think about what to wear. How shall I dress? Is this outfit too warm? Not warm enough? Should I shop on this website? Is it safe? Oh, there is a police cruiser. I am driving over the speed limit? I am, but so is everyone else. Should I slow down or will he let me go with the flow? Should I put this condom on? All people take risks all day long. You cannot divide human risk takers, and non-risk takers. One person sees a cop walking the beat and thinks good thoughts about how they are safe. Someone else may think bad thoughts. We do it all day long. From the minute we get up and get dressed. You are shopping on the web. Is this product all it is cracked up to be? Is opening this email an invitation to have my identity stolen?
Risk taking runs deep. It starts with our hormones. Cortisol, endorphins, dopamine, adrenalin, serotonin, testosterone, oxytocin. Our brains always have to be doing something. Choosing a low-risk path is always linked to these chemicals. These chemicals cause us to take on challenges. Most people don’t have the faintest idea how their neurochemistry works. Truth be told, it’s not necessary that we know, but a little rudimentary knowledge won’t hurt us to comprehend, right? Endorphins are well known for “Runners high”. However regular daily runs do not make you “high.” You have to risk pushing beyond your normal capacity to get that high feeling. Endorphins are there to support us in escaping the pain of having taken a possibly bad risk and lost. And that’s a good thing, Pain is our body’s signal that something is wrong. If we ignored pain all the time we would not be making low risk survival choices. By the way, endorphins work very closely with oxytocin.
Oxytocin and the adrenaline response system
Adrenaline can be thrilling but it does not cause happiness – it causes a state of arousal, but it does not help you make decisions, this is where Oxytocin comes in play.
When you stomp on the gas pedal, you get that exciting feeling, but it is not necessarily a “good for you” signal from you brain’s perspective. Adrenaline amplifies both the positive or negative feelings as it prepares you for immediate, and often risky action. Adrenaline does not tell you whether that action should be going toward or running away. Oxytocin does that. It helps you to make quick appraisals of tiny human behaviors and environmental variables. When oxytocin tells you, you can trust someone, you have a lower risk and a better chance of survival.
Oxytocin and Safety
Oxytocin inspires safety. It motivates us to build trusting social bonds by rewarding us with a good feeling. When you walk toward a strange dog with food in your hand the dog is not immediately sure he wants a stranger in his face. You check each other out slowly. When both of you are satisfied that the other is not a threat, you both relax, and it feels good. This is oxytocin at work. Again, it comes back to survival. You both share the need to be alert to predators—survival risk 101. Man or dog—man’s best friend—oxytocin teaches us that we are more apt to survive by trusting our immediate pack or tribe and that risk is lower when doing so.
Neural feedback and Oxytocin
Most first time risks begin with trial and error. Then with experience we grow new neuro-circuits that build our risk reward database. Our brains are constantly sending signals, but we don’t have to act on those signals. With adequate oxytocin levels our pre-frontal cortex is able to inhibit high-risk actions. And the desire to participate in them. We are free to resist adrenalins impulse for cheap thrills, or generate new ones. Neural signals command our attention all day long. They activate very easily. One moment our attention is here, then it is there, calculating which risk choice is the lowest is best for our survival. Our brains are constantly generating conflicting impulses. Should you smoke? Eat that salty pizza? After all you do have a heart condition. Maybe just one piece? Should you call mother? Is she going to say “I told you so!” if you mention that you got another speeding ticket. You don’t call. The emotional intelligence we get from daily secretions of oxytocin helps us to inhibit uncomfortable results from high-risk actions. It helps us to generate rational options in our mind.
Used over a long enough period of time, oxytocin helps us rewire the neural infrastructure necessary for making grounded, reasoned choices aimed at seeking respect, acceptance and trust, not just of others, but ourselves. When our immature brains connected speed with fun we drove too fast and thought nothing of it. Eventually this high risk behavior became imbedded in our neural network such that we didn’t even know it was high risk and drove fast all of the time, even when we weren’t late! Of course the little bit of adrenalin long since ceased to reward us. But, we did it anyway, regardless of the potential harm we were exposing to ourselves and innocent people walking through a crosswalk, who had the right of way. The empathy we derived from oxytocin helps us to relate and remember that pedestrians are people too. Oxytocin tells us that risk and reality, though related, are not the same thing as each other. That’s why there are two different words for them—risk and reality. Risky choices based on bad habits and bad Intel are set ups for potential losses. Oxytocin Accelerator is an important tool to behavioral modification. It is not a magic wand. It is a tool to the mental and emotional relaxation necessary to take fewer bad high-risk, impulse driven, choices.
Mitigating risk with mind reading and Oxytocin
Oxytocin is often referred to as the mind-reading hormone. This is because it help us slowdown long enough to observe and contemplate the reality/risks ratio. When faced with a life threatening situation, wild animals are enabled by a massive shot of oxytocin, to remain perfectly still without fear until they are competent enough to make up their mind to either remain perfectly still, fight, or run. With oxytocin’s help all warm blooded creatures are able to make more informed risk/reality based decisions. But, also known as the trust hormone, couldn’t oxytocin possibly make you more vulnerable? Couldn’t it turn me into a fool for con men or a raging risk taker? No, not at all, nor will it turn you into an abject gambler. The dopamine hormone has shown a mysterious capacity to do that. What balanced oxytocin hormone levels do is support our fundamental willingness to accept normal social risks that arise out of normal interpersonal interactions, based on more accurate risk/reality Intel. The trust component of oxytocin only seems to lessen the cynical edge, that cloud of cynicism and paranoia which inhabits many people’s worlds. Again, this has to do with oxytocin’s ability to regulate the amygdala, the seat of all, paranoia, bad memories, and cynicism.
In summary, elevated oxytocin enhances our ability to more clearly read social “tells” and avoid taking unnecessary risks. However it is not a magic wand. Daily administration of a gentile homeopathic protocol such as Oxytocin Accelerator is but a simple tool to supporting behavioral modification to addictively high-risk activities while making the necessary emotional calculi for an effective outcome. Let Oxytocin Accelerator support your risk ratio. It’s a better place to be.