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May 13, 2012

Call Your Mother

If you can’t spend time with your mom in person today, just be sure to give her a call (or do a Skype or FaceTime chat). Studies show that talking to your mom can reduce stress hormones like cortisol and increase comfort hormones like oxytocin. Texting and instant messaging apparently don’t provide the same benefits because it’s her voice that triggers the soothing effects.

Phoning my mom at age three, circa 1976.

Of course it’s not all about you. I’m assuming it’s a two-way street—that a mother’s health is positively impacted by hearing her child’s voice. (Then again, it might depend on the actual conversation, which is a whole different story.)

As Timothy Egan observes in the New York Times, “[Your mother is] the true keeper of your memories, your triumphs, your losses. Your mother is a scrapbook for all your enthusiasms…”

Well here’s my own maternal memory cache:

Photo of Mama Oh and me, taken about one year ago.

Thanks for the chat this morning, Mom, and Happy Mother’s Day!