Why is a Simple Hug Good for You?
Open up your heart and arms, ‘coz today (January 21) is National Hugging Day! This day is an annual event dedicated to the simplest and most effective way of expressing affection which is a hug. Hugging, it seems, is universally comforting to everyone. We hug when we are excited, happy, sad, or trying to comfort. But did you know there are science-backed studies conducted about the hug’s incredible powers? Read on to find out.
Hugs lessen stress
Whenever a friend or family member is dealing with something painful or unpleasant in their lives, why not give them a hug. Of course, you must ask them first with, “Can I give you a hug?” to not make it weird. Moreover, scientists say that touch in the form of hugging can reduce the stress of the person being comforted. It can also reduce the stress of the person doing the comforting.
Hugs boost our immune system
Hugging can be good for your health. In a 2014 study which measured social support in the form of hugs in more than 400 adults. The participants were asked about the number of times they experienced interpersonal conflict and the number of hugs they received every day for two weeks. They were also exposed to a common cold virus. The study found that perceived social support and hugs lessened the risk of infection. This means the more often people hugged, the less likely they are to get sick.
Hugs help reduce our fears
Scientists have found that hugs and touch can reduce anxiety in people with low self-esteem. It also found hugging or touching even just an inanimate object helps soothe a person's existential fears. Moreover, trivial instances of interpersonal touch may also help people to deal more effectively with existential concern.
Hugs elevate our mood
When someone hugs you, it can increase levels of serotonin. This serotonin, also known as the feel-good hormone, is produced and spread by neurons in the brain. This will help us to feel happy, calm, and even confident. This means when more serotonin flows in the body, then we feel good about ourselves. And, if this hormone is absent, you will likely feel less and can cause sleep disorders, as well as obesity.
Hugs deepen our relationships
The act of hugging also releases oxytocin, which is often referred to as the “love hormone” or “cuddle hormone.” According to research, hugging can release large quantities of oxytocin. Thus, hugging someone can help deepen our relationship with that person on a biochemical level. Hugs can convey, in a nonverbal way, an understanding of each other.
So, let’s get hugging! Show your friends and loved one that you care!