Remember the feeling when you first fell in love? Those hazy days when your S.O. was on your mind constantly and all was right with the world?
We’ve been taught to believe that there’s no way to recreate that feeling, so when you get that love high you should cling on to it for as long as possible. However, new research shows that there’s actually another way to get that buzz.
A study conducted by Bloom&Wild and London Metropolitan University reveals that receiving gifts such as flowers and chocolate can recreate the same hormonal reaction as love itself.
Oxytocin, known as the ‘love hormone’, is produced when people are in a loving, happy relationship. It also has anti-anxiety and stress reducing effects. Research suggests that people in the first three stages of love reported higher oxytocin levels that last for around 6-12 months. Based on this, Bloom & Wild worked with London Metropolitan University to conduct an experiment in order to find out if receiving gifts can recreate that ‘loving feeling’ at a chemical level.
And guess what? The hormone rose significantly in the participants after receiving nice presents.
Thirty volunteers were split into three groups to receive a gift of flowers, chocolate or water, and saliva samples were taken before they were given their present, 10 minutes after deliver, and then again 40 minutes later. The samples were then tested to detect changes in hormone levels. The study found no changes in levels of cortisol, due to the fact that participants were not under any stress, but higher levels of oxytocin were detected amongst those receiving chocolates and flowers, while those gifted with water saw the least change.
Chocolate came out on top as the most euphoric gift, followed by flowers and then – no surprises – water.
Dr Una Fairbrother, Head of Biosciences at London Metropolitan University said: ‘Participants in the study were selected randomly and only their age, gender, and date of birth was recorded, in order to maintain anonymity in compliance with data protection and the Human Tissue Authority.
‘Interestingly, the results show that there was a significant increase in oxytocin after receipt of any gift. Furthermore, within this small cohort, the effect of the more desirable gifts, such as chocolate and flowers, was more pronounced, with chocolate being marginally on top.
‘This is not surprising since chocolate induces feelings of wellbeing, including an oxytocin response when eaten, thus anticipation is likely to provoke a similar (if smaller) response.’
So if you’re celebrating Galentine’s and you want that burst of love then gifts are the answer.
*Ahem, hints at friends.*