Cortisol is your body’s main stress hormone and in today’s society often runs high in many people. There are many ways to combat stress; one of them is by reducing the cortisol levels in our body by increasing the hormone oxytocin, which also has a beneficial effect on high blood pressure. How do we increase oxytocin? By cuddling! Known sometimes as a love hormone oxytocin is triggered by touch and warmth. So there you go, hug your partner, your kids, your parents and your friends – even lightly touching someone as you walk past them has a beneficial effect on you both (perhaps not a complete stranger!). And it’s not just hugging people, stroking your dog, cat or horse 😊 releases oxytocin too.