Hand out a hug

shutterstock_155809202You have to admit that nothing gives you more comfort and makes you feel better than a hug from someone you care about. Recent studies have shown that hugs go a lot further than just making us feel warm and fuzzy inside – handing out a hug can also do wonders for your wellness. According to a recent article on Huffington Post, here are five reasons why we should indulge in more hugs:

  1. 1.      It just feels good!

When we embrace someone we care about, we release oxytocin which is also known, quite fittingly so, as the cuddle hormone. This magical chemical has also been linked to social bonding, which refers to the process people go through when getting to know each other.

  1. 2.      Hugs = lower blood pressure

The hormones that are released into the body after a hug aren’t just good for feeling happier, they can also help your physical health. When someone touches you, the sensation on your skin activates pressure receptors called pacinan corpuscles, which send signals to the vagnus nerve, an area of the brain which is responsible for lowering blood pressure.

  1. 3.      Gone are your fears

In a study that looked at fears and self-esteem, research published in the journal Psychological Science, revealed that hugs and touch significantly reduce worry of mortality. The studies have found that hugging, even your pet, helps soothe a person’s fears.

  1. 4.      Hug for your heart 

Another study has found that a hug can be good medicine for your heart. In an experiment at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, participants who didn’t have any contact with their partners developed a quickened heart rate of 10 beats per minute compared to the five beats per minute among those who were allowed to hug their partners.

  1. 5.      Hugging for adults 

According to researchers at Ohio State University, physical touch becomes increasingly important with age. “The older you are, the more fragile you are physically, so contact becomes increasingly important for good health,” explains Janice Keicolt-Glaser, a University psychologist. Studies have shown that loneliness, can also increase stress and have health effects, particularly with age. By hugging someone, we instantly feel closer to that person and decrease those feelings of loneliness.