Have you ever noticed that when you receive a hug from the right person it can literally turn your entire day around? Ever wondered why that is? Well, hugs are more than a polite way to say hello & goodbye to your friends & family. Follow along to see the health benefits of hugging as well as what the affects of not enough hugs are & why you should always give more!
Health Benefits Of Hugs
Who knew there was such a thing as science behind a hug?! There are many benefits to hugging which include a decrease in stress, pain & illness. With an increase in happiness, support & deeper relationships.
What Happens In The Brain?
When you receive a hug that lasts longer than 10 seconds, also known as a bear hug or a heart-to-heart hug (more on this later), it triggers the release of Serotonin in the brain. This increase of Serotonin helps one to feel happy, calm & confident with a decrease in stress. Most anti-depressants are advertised to increase the production of serotonin. So, if you’re feeling down & having a bad day, remember a hug could be just the right thing you didn’t know you needed.
What Happens In The Body?
Hugging longer than 10 seconds causes a release of a chemical called Oxytocin in our bodies. This chemical is associated with feelings of happiness & less stress. With an increase in Oxytocin your body experiences a domino effect of reduced inflammation, improved healing time, a lower heart rate & blood pressure & even reduced physical pain! That’s a whole lotta power behind a hug!
The Effects Of No Hugs
All the benefits of receiving a hug are lost when you go through a hiatus of no hugs. Lack of physical touch in your life leads to an increased risk of stress, anxiety & even depression. The stress hormone, Cortisone, is then triggered & released into your body. Causing a domino effect of increased heart rate, blood pressure, & even muscle tension. It even affects quality of sleep as well as your immune & digestive systems, leaving your body unable to function efficiently. In short, it’s best for everyone if you make getting your daily dose of hugs a priority!
What Are The Best Type Of Hugs?
A real hug to me is considered to be a bear hug or a heart-to-heart hug, also known as the hugs that last more than 10 seconds. The kind where you’re squeezed so tight, that by the pure power of love, it melts away all your problems.
A bear hug is like a normal hug but closer & much tighter. It usually makes you feel warm, safe & protected from the outside world. I know quite a few people who specialize in bear hugs & they are my favorite kind of people!
A heart-to-heart hug is when both huggers embrace with their left sides, allowing your hearts to touch first. This type of hugging is usually shared between close family members, friends & your significant others, someone you have a deep relationship with. These are the most comforting & the ones you will always cherish!
A Challenge For You
Today I challenge you to go out & hug someone you care about! A friend, a family member, even a close co-worker! Start a domino effect of hugs & see how fast the room’s happiness levels spike! Remember that everyone is at a different stage in life & could be in need of a real hug. So I challenge you to promote the spread of kindness & the spread of love through the simple act of hugging & watch joy spread like wildfire!