I'm not embarrassed to admit it: no matter how old I get, sometimes I just need to talk to my mom. I call her to share good news, to whine, to vent, to admit things I'm too self-conscious to share with anyone else. Now, science proves I'm not just a big wuss.
In a new study of mothers, daughters, and hormones, researchers discovered that hearing a mother's voice on the phone can provide the same soothing, stress-relieving effect as a hug. (Interestingly, it turns out therapy by phone may work, too.) It's one of the many talents of oxytocin, the so-called "cuddle hormone," which aids mother-child bonding at birth and makes men more empathetic. In the study, girls ages 7 to 12, girls were put into stressful situations, such as giving a speech, then comforted three different ways: by a mom hug, by a mom phone call, and "by watching a film deemed emotionally neutral, the March of the Penguins."
The girls who were physically comforted and comforted by a phone call saw similar increases in oxytocin and decreases in cortisol. Basically, the stress-lessening effect was the same, regardless of physical distance. No conclusions were reached regarding the effect of watching March of the Penguins while sitting in your mom's lap.
So call your mom and tell her the news! Posting a link on her Facebook wall doesn't count.