On this episode of Anti-Aging Hacks, Faraz Khan and Dr. Paul Zak discuss the hormone oxytocin and how to hack oxytocin for a long life.
Paul Zak is the founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies and Professor of Economics, Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University. He has degrees in mathematics and economics from San Diego State University, a Ph.D. in economics from University of Pennsylvania, and post-doctoral training in neuroimaging from Harvard. He has an academic lab, the first Neuroscience as a Service (NaaS) platform, and neuromanagement company.
His latest book, Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High Performance Companies, uses neuroscience to measure and manage organizational cultures to inspire teamwork and accelerate business outcomes. His 2012 book, The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity, recounted his unlikely discovery of the neurochemical oxytocin as the key driver of trust, love, and morality that distinguish our humanity.
How did Paul start researching oxytocin?
Was always interested in human social behavior. Did work on trust across countries that are prosperous.
Developed a protocol to measure human brain’s production of oxytocin using blood draws.
What’s so interesting about Oxytocin in the brain and body?
Oxytocin is a neurochemical in brain and hormone in body.
Oxytocin is released in brain and blood in response to events. Paul was able to measure oxytocin in blood draws to understand oxytocin levels in brain.
Oxytocin is part of balance between trusting others and being careful of others.
Oxytocin reduces physiologic stress, and can improve wound healing.
Having a rich social life is extremely important.
What are some crazy experiments that Paul ran?
Went into rainforests in Papua New Guinea.
Has worked with military and at weddings.
Oxytocin is a powerful persuader. Connection is the foundation of persuasion.
Levels aren’t all that important, but the change in oxytocin is better. You can practice and train yourself to be a better connector and a more empathic person.
What are some hacks to connect better with others?
Ask people how they are doing emotionally, and dig deeper instead of the usual greetings.
Start talking to people in elevators.
Any activity in sync, singing, dancing, marching, hugs.
It’s difficult to make oxytocin by yourself. You have to give the gift of oxytocin to someone else.
Interacting with strangers increases oxytocin more than with existing friends or associates.
In a given relationship, the better the connection between two people the better the relationship.
Can you hack oxytocin to do a reset of an existing relationship?
Not as easy, but can be done with a moderately stressful experience together such as skydiving.
Can you have enough oxytocin with a Zoom call?
Zoom call gets 80% of oxytocin, texting is 40%.
If you’re in a business meeting, then spend a few minutes to check in emotionally. Building relationships works!
Can you hack oxytocin for a long life?
Paul is doing research on older people in Loma Linda. One of the keys is acts of service. Service means to help people in any way.
This is how to hack oxytocin for long life.
To get in touch with Dr. Paul, check out his website.
To learn about the importance of community with like minded friends, check out my podcast interview with Jim Strole.
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