POSTED ON January 19, 2018
A good hug can feel so rejuvenating, but did you know that hugs provide actual health benefits as well? Hugs come in many varieties, for instance, the hug between a mother and child differs greatly from the hug between the same woman and her partner. Whether you prefer quick hugs, bear hugs, or something in between, hugs are healthy! Read on to learn about the health benefits of hugging and why you don’t have to take your clothes off to have a good time!
Hugs are Healthy!
That warm hug you just gave your partner also boosted their health – and yours! Studies have proven that hugs can lower blood pressure, trigger the release of feel-good hormones (like oxytocin), and reduce stress.
Plus, it would appear that hugs can actually improve our immunity and shorten the duration of common illnesses!
A study at Carnegie Mellon University of 404 healthy adults “examined the effects of perceived social support and the receipt of hugs on the participants' susceptibility to developing the common cold after being exposed to the virus. People who perceived greater social support were less likely to come down with a cold, and the researchers calculated that the stress-buffering effects of hugging explained 32 percent of that beneficial effect. Even among those who got a cold, those who felt greater social support and received more frequent hugs had less severe symptoms.” (Colino, Stacey, The Health Benefits of Hugging, US News & World Report, October 3, 2016.)
Hugs Improve Mental Health!
Laughter is the best medicine, and this is a great example of fun with a hug fest: the record for most hugs in one minute is held by actor / celebrity son Jason Ritter. In October 2017, he broke the former record of 79 hugs in one minute and raised the bar to 86 with the help of fans and the hosts of television’s The View.
A quick hug immediately raises your oxytocin level, which can banish feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.
A long hug will increase your serotonin level, which elevates your mood and creates feelings of happiness.
Reach in for a quick one or really wrap your arms around someone and squeeze into a classic bear hug; either way, hugs will elevate your mood.
Hugs Improve Relationships
Hugs strengthen our bonds with those we love and care about. When we hug each other with our hearts pressed together, we build our sense of trust and safety. The better trust is between individuals, the more open and honest communication will be. We all know that communication is the key to a strong relationship!
A hug is something that we share with one another. A shared experience always improves relationships, so why not celebrate National Hugging Day this year by hugging instead of shaking hands?
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