The hormone that can increase life satisfaction and empathy as you age

The hormone that can increase life satisfaction and empathy as you age

Over the years, changes are felt in the body. What was once easy to do now takes a little more effort. The same thing happens inside: the neurons die, the heart no longer pumps as before and the decreased production of certain hormonesand. Although this does not seem to affect the oxytocin.

This substance is known to be the hormone of love or happiness. The brain is responsible for releasing it in certain pleasant situations, so it is essential for social relations by influencing, for example, trust or generosity. According to a survey, the the production of this hormone increases with age. This would explain why many people become more affectionate and affable as they age.

Years of life, empathy and oxytocin

A study conducted by Claremont Graduate University and the University of Southern California, the results of which can be found in the journal Frontier in Behavioral Neuroscience, determined that Older people tend to release the love hormone in greater amounts than younger people. in response to social situations that induce empathy.

To reach this conclusion, the researchers showed 103 people between the ages of 18 and 99 a video featuring a father which, completely broken, told in detail how he felt about the death of his two-year-old son because of brain cancer. The volunteers were able to see the little deceased playing in the hospital before he died. After watching the video, participants had the chance to win up to $40 by completing a task and were then offered the chance to make an anonymous donation to the hospital where the child was admitted.

The results showed that its over 65 had more empathy with their father and donated more. On average, those over 65 donated 12.45 euros; adults aged 36-64 donated an average of 9.30 euros, while the 18-35 age group gave only 4.64 euros. Therefore, the oldest they gave almost three times as much as the youngest volunteers. In addition, analyzes performed before and after viewing the video showed that older people they had released more oxytocin than the young ones.

The culprit for the elders to be able to put themselves in the place of the father was the live. It is likely that at a certain age, people must have experienced episodes as horrible as the death of a child. And if they did not experience such misfortune, they surely went through other difficult times. Instead, young people have fewer possibilities of being able to feel as much painFor what They don’t sympathize so much with the pain of others. They therefore do not release as much oxytocin as when they are older.

On the other hand, researchers have also found that people who they had released more oxytocin were the ones who claimed to feel more satisfied with their lives and had helped others more often. “The findings are consistent with many religions and philosophies, in which life satisfaction is increased by helping others,” explained Dr. Zak, a professor at Claremont Graduate University.


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