A Hug Only Takes 10 Seconds, But the Benefits Last Forever

A Hug Only Takes 10 Seconds, But the Benefits Last Forever

A Hug Only Takes 10 Seconds, But the Benefits Last Forever

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.

HuggingLooking for a reason to hug someone? Here are a few:

Hugs are calming
Because 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 heart
Not 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 happy
Oxytocin 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 fears
A 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 hugging
Hugs are awesome.


Comprehensive Psychology -- Meaning of hugging: from greeting behavior to touching implication, 2012, Volume 1, Article 13, ISSN 2165-2228
Dr. Karen Grewen, Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina,


Originally published January 12, 2015; Revised 2019