mommy really DOES make it better;)

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-22-2010
mommy really DOES make it better;)
Wed, 05-12-2010 - 7:37am

i knew it! :)


Oh, it's my mom on the caller ID. "What should we argue about today?" I wonder, as I debate picking up the call. Even just that can send my stress levels rising.

So it was news to me that Mom's voice—whether in person or on the phone—can ease stress. A study finds it can spark the release of oxytocin, a hormone associated with emotional bonding that's known to quell anxiety.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison discovered this connection by testing the reactions of 7- to 12-year-old girls who were told they had to give an impromptu speech and perform a series of math problems in front of a panel of strangers. No surprise, their hearts started racing and their levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, went through the roof.

The girls then faced one of three scenarios. They were either: comforted in person by their mothers with hugs or an arm around the shoulder; left alone to watch a 75-minute, emotion-neutral video; or spoke to their moms on the phone. The results showed that the girls who interacted with their mothers in either format experienced significant upticks in their levels of oxytocin and the stress-causing cortisol was washed away.

And the relief wasn't short-lived—the effect lasted well after the stressful incident was over.

Now, not only are my chats with my mother occasionally less than peaceful, I also can't imagine that my voice always evokes calm in my own kids. Surely my demands to clean the kitchen, finish their homework, and get outside right this instant to scrape the gum off the driveway aren't exactly unleashing feelings of serenity.

Perhaps I need to take these conversations more seriously, because apparently, these aren't just empty words flying around between my mother and me and me and my children. Indeed, I like this notion that we can sooth our kids with just our voice.

I thought only ice cream and chocolate could do that.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2008
Wed, 05-12-2010 - 12:14pm
I always liked the research that came out of the UW.