Have you ever noticed when you’re really sad, anxious or excited that getting a hug can make a huge difference in how you feel? Therefore, if you are the type that likes to freely give hugs or just like to receive them, there is a value to hugging. Here is the reason of why hugging has a positive impact on happiness and health.
Hugs have that unique sense of comfort that can magically help calm and provide that extra mental and physical boost for our well-being. Hugs are supportive and through that soothing touch and human contact one provides, stress hormones like cortisol can be reduced. In fact, the longer a gentle hug (about 20 seconds) lasts to someone that feels lonely, stressed or isolated, the lower those stress hormones drop. A rapid heartbeat can also slow down and become steady due to the value of hugging. At the same time, the brain also is reacting to this form of human contact in a positive way as well releasing four happy neurotransmitters: “love or cuddle hormone” of oxytocin in response besides dopamine, serotonin and endorphins.
Hugging also can help improve the body’s immunity to better fight illness since they energize the thymus gland. It plays a large role in the immune system because of how it oversees the body’s production of T-lymphocytes or T cells, white blood cells that defend against disease.
An interesting study was conducted with a group of huggers and non-huggers that were given a common cold virus. Apparently, the infected that received hugs recovered sooner than the ones that weren’t hugged. When the body feels under attack, the hugs served to stimulate the immune system way in a positive fashion whereas subjects without any hugging were likely to suffer more and longer due to how illness adversely affected the immune system.
Another value of hugging is what it can do for the heart, especially for those in a loving relationship. It can lower blood pressure and heart rates.
Equally fascinating is how hugs can help lessen physical pain. Every hug also causes endorphins, which is the body’s own way to relieve pain. These endorphins have the ability to block pain pathways.
Hugging also can help boost confidence when you are under pressure. For instance, you may be uncomfortable stepping on a stage to give a presentation, accept an award, etc. that would put you in the limelight. However, hugging can work miracles on blood pressure, a heart rate in how the touch can put the body and mind at ease.
The value of hugging should not be ignored so keep on hugging!