Are you a hugger? I am! I love a good hug and I’ll hug pretty much anyone who will let me. Did you know that a hug can lower your blood pressure, ease your stress and even boosts your immune system? Here’s why hugs are awesome:
Lowers blood pressure.
When you give or receive a hug your body releases oxytocin which is the hormone that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy. It promotes feelings of contentment and reduces anxiety and stress.
Hugging eases stress by reducing levels of circulating cortisol (the stress hormone) in the blood.
Boosts your immune system.
Cortisol inhibits the immune system and hugging lowers cortisol so it actually has an effect on the immune system! There was a study that was done with 400 healthy adults who were asked about their perceived social support. They were interviewed over a course of 2 weeks and were asked about the frequency that they engaged in interpersonal conflict and if they received hugs that day. The researchers then exposed all of them to the common cold virus to see what would happen. They found that the people who engaged in less interpersonal conflict and received regular hugs had less or no cold symptoms as compared to the people who when through regular interpersonal conflicts and did not receive regular hugs.
When you hug someone and your body releases oxytocin it increases the bond between you and the person you’re hugging.
Another hormone that gets released when you hug someone is endorphins. Endorphins relieve pain by blocking the pain pathways! It also increases circulation to soft tissues which can help to soothe aches.
Help to relieve depression.
Hugging increases the production of dopamine and serotonin in your brain. Both dopamine and serotonin levels are low in people who are suffering with depression. A simple hug can improve a person’s mood and even boost their self-esteem.
Go Hug Someone!
Any time you get the opportunity to hug someone do it! I do!