When it comes to displaying affection, there are three types of people in this world; Those who are touchy-feely and always say hello with a hug, those who are occasional huggers and those who find showing affection uncomfortable. According to recent research studies, the touchy-feely friends may actually be happier and healthier, as hugs have been identified as a viable source of both mental and physical health.
Hugs Can Reduce Stress or Conflict Before it Starts
Whenever someone is dealing with a painful or unpleasant moment in their life, give them a hug. Scientists say that showing support through touch can reduce the stress of the person being comforted. Studies found the part of the woman’s brain that is associated with stress showed a reduced activity when being hugged, while those parts associated with the rewards of maternal behavior showed more activity.
Hugs May Work To Keep You Healthier
In a study of over 400 adults, researchers found that hugging may reduce the chances of a person getting sick. The participants with a greater support system were less likely to get sick than those with little or no support.
Hugs Lead to Happiness
The chemical in our bodies that some scientists call the “cuddle hormone” is known as oxytocin. It is called the “cuddle hormone” because its levels rise when we hug, touch or even sit close to someone else. Oxytocin levels have been found to be associated with happiness and less stress. In fact, this hormone has a particular effect in women, as it causes a reduction in blood pressure and of the stress hormone “norepinephrine”. One study found that the positive benefits of oxytocin were strongest in women who had better relationships and more frequent hugs with their romantic partners. Levels were also high when women held their infant babies closely.
So how many hugs does one really need?
According to family therapist Virginia Satir, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”
While that may sound like a lot of hugs, just remember, more is always better than not enough.
So, if you want to feel better about yourself, reduce your stress, improve communication and be happier and healthier, it seems that giving and asking for hugs is a great place to start.
Spread the love and share the hugs!