There’s A Science Behind Why Hugs Feel So Good And It’s Making Us Want To Cuddle
Science says you need more hugs! And since it’s National Hugging Day in the US today, we thought we should discuss hugging at length. Honestly, do you really need this article to tell you that hugs are good for you?
A warm, loving hug can actually work wonders for your health. You know, hugs are great for our emotional wellbeing. You feel less lonely and more relaxed when someone hugs you. But, did you know that hugs work at a physiological level? This simply means that a humble hug triggers different chemical processes in your body which are responsible for improving your mood and your health.
Here’s what happens in your brain when you give and receive hugs
When you are hugging a loved one, a hormone called oxytocin, popularly known as the love hormone, is released. Oxytocin is also called the cuddle hormone because it helps us bond with others and because it is associated with good feelings.
Another wonderful thing that happens when you get frequent hugs is that the level of stress reduces. This is because the level of cortisol—the stress hormone—is lowered. Lower cortisol means less stress. You can see why this is a good thing, right?
More hugs mean less sick leave
When your stress level is low, it is great for your overall health because you get sick less often. Researchers have actually found that those who hug often don’t fall prey to infections like the common cold. And if they do fall sick, then the symptoms are not that severe. So now you know one of the secrets of those co-workers who hardly take a day off to nurse the sniffles, they’ve been getting the hugs!
Hugs are great for your heart too
Some scientists have found that 10 minutes of hand-holding followed by a 20-second hug can work wonders for your heart health. They conducted a study where they found that the person’s blood pressure and heart rate did not increase much in response to stress when they held hands and hugged as compared to those who did not receive such physical contact.
Loving hugs are also healing
Giving and receiving hugs helps release the tension in our muscles and helps us heal inside out as we feel connected and happy. Some researchers have also found that people who are in pain due to different health conditions feel better when they are hugged.
Do you know how to give the best hugs?
Now that you know a 20-second hug is backed by science, don’t just count to 20 when you are hugging 🙂 If you are hugging someone to comfort them, then the best thing you can do is wait for them to break contact. Hug them for however long they like to be hugged especially with kids. Be in the moment and feel the flow of energy. Remember how much you love them. All the chemical reactions in your body aside, it is about feeling good.
Give a firm hug and not a flimsy one. Allow your arms to brace a loved one so they feel supported and surrounded by love. Then wait for the magic to begin.
Now you know that you need to give atleast 8 hugs a day, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and start right away!