The health benefits of hugging

Sometimes, all we really need is a hug. Whether we’re stressed out or it’s just been one of those days, a hug can be the medicine we need to feel better. However, hugging can do much more than just put a smile on our faces, according to Medical Daily. It can improve psychological development, boost our immune systems and even lower the risk of heart disease. With benefits like that, hugging should be prescribed by doctors!

Did you know that January 21st is National Hug Day? Make sure to greet a family member or friend with a warm embrace this month, as it will not only enhance both your mood and theirs, it’ll benefit your well-being, too!

Grab your loved one and hug them extra tight this winter.
Grab your loved one and hug them extra tight this winter.

1. Hugging lowers blood pressure
According to The Health Site, hugging can help lower blood pressure levels. When you give someone a hug or kiss, your levels of oxytocin go up. This hormone helps reduce cortisol in the body, which lowers blood pressure levels. Also, when hugging, Pacinian corpuscles—a type of pressure receptor on the skin—are activated, which send signals to the brain nerve that helps lower blood pressure.

2. Hugging builds trust and safety
Giving a hug allows you to open up to someone and feel safe in their embrace. Not only can hugging make you feel secure and happy, but Mind Body Green says the oxytocin level boost from hugging can easily heal feelings of loneliness, isolation and anger.

“Hugging can combat the common cold and flu.”

3. Hugging can help boost the immune system
According to a study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, hugging can help relieve symptoms of the common cold and flu. The results showed that the social support, or hugging, reduced the chance of having an infection and lessened the severity of symptoms. Since cold and flu season is here, it’s important to take necessary precautions to ensure maximum health – so keep hugging!

4. Hugging is good for the heart
Not only does hugging warm the soul, it can also boost heart health too, according to a study by Kathy Grewen and Kathleen Light, professors in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In a social experiment, results showed that those who didn’t have contact with their loved one developed a quickened heart rate of 10 beats per minute compared to the five beats per minute among those who got to hug their partners during the experiment.