Hugging when you had a hard day is the most effective act to relieve any stress or anxiety. You hug when you are sad and you feel good. You hug because you miss the person and you feel elated. You hug because you love this person and you feel loved as well. Hugging doesn’t just make you feel good, in fact, studies have proven that hugging someone can lessen your worries and may even lengthen your life.
So what’s the reason behind this wonderful feeling? Are there any scientific explanations for this? Let’s discover the answer and together we will take advantage of the free benefits of hugging.
The Chemistry of Hugging
The reason for the affectionate feeling we experience when hugging is the hormone oxytocin. This hormone is released by the hypothalamus. The most important role it does? It helps in the process of childbirth and male reproduction. From the moment we are released from our mother’s womb, we are linked through this hormone that is why when we touch and hug our mother we feel the affection long before existence. It also helps on lowering stress hormone level, reducing high blood pressure and improves our mood.
Benefits of Hugging
1. It creates a long-lasting feeling of the bond. Because of oxytocin, it raises our intimate feelings with our partner. Through this chemical release from our brain, we can already feel the strong bond.
2. Pain reliever. Have you tried this feeling? Well, I have tried it more than once and yes, it releases my emotional pain. That’s why, when you have heartache your fist instinct is to find someone to hug.
3. Decreases body stress. When you are in pain, hug someone fast, because our body releases endorphins which block pain and removes peptides.
4. Elevating your mood. Serotonin doesn’t sound good but it has a good effect on your emotion and body, so is endorphin which our brain releases when we’re sad. Don’t feel embarrassed when you want some hugs, it’s a natural thing to do and it has a scientific effect too.
5. No need to worry about depression. Our brain naturally releases dopamine in our body, when we are depressed, our dopamine level decreases. All we need to do now is to hug the people we know who are depressed so that they will feel loved and earn self-esteem again.
6. Creates understanding and empathy. When we hug someone our heart generates bioenergetic field and this causes the creation of understanding towards the person we hug.
7. Improves our immune system. Hugging can definitely decrease the level of stress, and increases the hormones of the immune system. Some studies have shown how hugging works in fighting viruses like colds, therefore according to the study, children who receive frequent hugs from their parents have healthy bodies than those who are neglected by their parents.
8. Strengthens our sense of belongingness. True that this is how we feel when we are hugged by our friends, parents, partner or even from a stranger. It gives a different feeling of social belongingness. The warm feeling you will give and receive has all the reason to feel this way.
9. Lowers level of cortisol. Through hugging cortisol level decreases; cortisol is the stress hormone which is responsible for our sleep disorders.
The medical and psychological benefit of hugging can certainly lessen our worry of short mortality in this world. It is sometimes ignored by us because we think we can overcome our stress and depression through medication. In fact, we missed the inexpensive cure for our sadness, a hug from our family and friends, the feeling of being loved and a sense of belongingness.
Try giving yourself and your partner or family 10-second hugs a day and surely you will be healthier and happier.