What’s more awesome and “feel-good” than a great hug? The warm embrace from a family member, partner, best friend, a child, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s someone you love right? Well studies are actually backing us huggers up on this one. There is literally tons of research linking some powerful and amazing benefits that come from a simple hug!
Let’s start with the most basic benefit from hugging, it physically feels great, but further more, this comfortable feeling, and connectedness to another person tells our brain to release Oxytocin, referred to as the “bonding hormone”. Oxytocin when released makes us physically and mentally warm, safe, comfortable and happy, this all promotes trust and bonding.
Hugs are known to reduce blood pressure, get this, any time you touch someone or are touched by someone you love and care about, or trust, the sensation on your skin activates your Pacinian receptors, which tell your nerves to lower that blood pressure and relax!
Okay so what about us human beings who get totally uncomfortable and creeped out by hugs? There are studies that show, some people actually become more stressed when giving a hug, higher blood pressure as well as a faster heartbeat, often times this is associated with hugging someone that they don’t like, don’t know very well or don’t’ trust. This doesn’t mean you are doomed, this just means you may have to work harder to get the benefits, hug only people you do love, and really allow yourself to enjoy the hug!
For those of us who maybe don’t have a lot people around that we want to hug, studies have also found that hugging inanimate objects too can help, teddy bear, pillow, toaster oven-whatever floats your boat! Hey and even animals, like your pet (no they aren’t objects, and yes they are animate) have been proven to reduce stress, and initiate less fears, and more relaxed and happy feelings.
There you have it, you’re welcome for the good news of the day! This just in, hugs are awesome, and they are even more emotionally, and physically beneficial than you probably knew. So let’s help each other unwind, bond, lower each other’s blood pressure, all that good stuff, give out more hugs!
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