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Fun fact about hugs: They don’t just give you that warm, fuzzy sense of well-being— they can also be good for your health!It’s true. —Hugging for just 10 seconds can increase feel-good hormones like oxytocin, which causes stress chemicals like cortisol to drop, which in turn helps lower your blood pressure. Dr. Jan Astrom did a study that showed giving or getting a hug has positive effects.Looking for a reason to hug someone? Here are a few:Hugs are calmingBecause hugging can raise your level of oxytocin, a good hug can leave you feeling calmer and less anxious. Stressed out about something? Hug it out!Hugs are good for your heartNot only does a hug feel good, but it’s good for a heart healthy lifestyle. In an experiment at the University of North Carolina participants who didn't have any contact with their partners developed a faster heart rate than those who received hugs. Hug your way to better heart health! Hugs make you happyOxytocin isn’t the only hormone released during a hug. Hugs can also release serotonin and dopamine which help lift your mood. Hugs can help soothe your fearsA study on fears and self-esteem, showed that hugging and touching greatly lower fears of death. The study found that even if it’s just a stuffed teddy bear, hugging helps soothe a person’s fears. Well-hugged babies lead to well-adjusted adults Can’t stop hugging your baby? Don’t! Research shows that babies who receive a lot of physical affection will develop better coping mechanisms as they grow up. There is no downside to huggingHugs are awesome.
Sources: Comprehensive Psychology -- Meaning of hugging: from greeting behavior to touching implication, 2012, Volume 1, Article 13, ISSN 2165-2228Dr. Karen Grewen, Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina,www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15740822www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/touch-may-alleviate-existential-fears-for-people-with-low-self-esteem.html
Originally published January 12, 2015; Revised 2019
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