It seems that when it comes to hugging, there are 3 types of people out there – those who can’t stand hugging, occasional huggers, and people who are so touchy-feely that always hug you.
According to science, those huggers who don’t let a day pass by without hugging someone are healthier and happier than the rest.
Here are 8 health benefits of hugging according to research that will make you want to squeeze someone tight right away.
1. It Helps You Express Your Feelings When Words Cannot
Our physical interaction with people says a lot, whether consciously or subconsciously. Psychologist Danielle Forshee says that touch is a sense that is developed in the womb and it reaches its maturity first in comparison to our other senses. Therefore, hugging seems to play a vital role when it comes to expressing our deepest emotions to others.
2. It Improves Your Physical Performance
In a 2010 report, one study discovered that athletes who showed more openness to physical interaction such as hugging performed better. The study also found that those teams who were bonding using hugs were among the best performing and got the highest ranks.
3. It Protects You from Stress-Related Illnesses
A hug a day keeps the stress away. One study found that there is a link between hugging and the immune system. Apparently, people who received more hugs were less susceptible to get sick since their immune system was stronger and their cortisol levels were lower. And even if they got sick, their sick symptoms were less strong than those who didn’t receive hugs as much.
4. It Makes You Less Nervous To Speak In Public
Another study found that those people who were not ashamed or scared to give a public speech had lower heart rates and receiving a hug from a partner has helped them in doing that compared to those who didn’t have physical contact to someone.
5. It Boosts Naturally Your Oxytocin Levels
Oxytocin, or better known as the “cuddle hormone”, is a very important one when it comes to relationships because it increases the intimacy and the trust between the partners. Hugging helps partners naturally boost this hormone and strengthen their bond.
6. It Can Relieve You from Pain
According to Fahad Basheer, MD, hugging alleviates pain in many ways – by releasing endorphins that serve to block the pathways of pain and by making the circulation better and thus removing pain peptides.
7. It Helps You Deal with Conflict Better
One study including 400 participants found that hugs can help people deal with negative feelings and handle conflicts better. Therefore, next time when you have an argument with a friend or a significant other, don’t leave without a hug.
8. It Quells Existential Crises
A number of studies discovered that those individuals who were more likely to get into an existential crisis and fear mortality could find solace and peace in hugging.
So, there you go! What other excuse do you need to hug someone today?