Hugging is a very happy form of communication. It conveys love, approval, gratitude and more. Getting embraced by somebody makes you feel warm and uplifted. In the past, hugging was viewed as a female behavior and that males often greet each other through handshake. In our society today, hugging is accepted for both gender behaviors.
Everyday many people find ways to become healthier. However, even though people try many complicated ways to take these steps, often it is the simple things that actually bring good. Hugging is a simple thing to do but most of us take it for granted. Some people do not have the time to hug because they are too busy or they find the action embarrassing. A recent survey indicated that a third of the world population do not get to be hugged on a regular basis. While people may think that hugging is just a form of emotional satisfaction, this affection is more than what meets the eye. Hugging can bring many health benefits.
Humans are known to be social animals. Social contact in the form of hugging is a way of therapeutic touch. Studies show that people who received hugs are healthier than those who don’t. Therapeutic touch is known to stimulate the mental health of a person and in return helps a person control weight, eat healthy and be physically active. This boost of energy happens because there is decreased level of cortisol (stress hormone), thereby decreasing tension, anxiety and stress. An example of therapeutic touch is a study conducted on Korean infants in an orphanage. Results show that infants who received extra 15 minutes of touching, massage and eye to eye contact five days a week for four weeks gained more weight and increased in body length and head circumference compared to those who did not receive touch.
Relationships on the other hand also benefit from hugging. When couples hug, the hormones serotonin and dopamine are released. This in turn will make the couple want to hug their partners more because of the good feeling the two hormones bring. They are known to be the happy hormones which uplift good mood and alleviate down feelings.
Benefits to Pregnancy
A study by the University of North Carolina found that hugging increases the release of the hormone oxytocin. In pregnancy, hugging helps women become physically and mentally prepared. The release of oxytocin helps a woman in easy delivery and enables her to focus more on childbirth process.
Hugging is also known to reduce pain among adults. It also reduces the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease such as restlessness, pacing and vocalization. Moreover, hugging decrease the risk of heart diseases and hypertension.
Hugging has a scientific basis known to bring health benefits to individuals. So hug your special people today and everyday.