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

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

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

 Fun fact about hugs: They don’t just give you a warm, fuzzy sense of well-being — they can also be good for your health.

It’s true. Hugging for just 10 seconds can boost feel-good hormones like oxytocin.  Often called the “love hormone,” it fights stress chemicals and helps lower blood pressure. Looking for a good reason to hug someone? There are many.

Hugs calm chaos.
A good hug can help you feel calmer and less anxious, says Psychology Today. leaving site icon Are you stressed about work deadlines? Money woes? Family drama? Don’t carry that stress around. Hug it out.

Hugs reduce inflammation.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to illness. It fights infection. Sometimes, it lasts when it isn’t needed. Chronic inflammation has even been linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. 

Hugs protect your heart.
Walking, eating a heart-healthy diet and cutting back on salt can all help your blood pressure levels stay in the healthy range. So can regular hugs. A good squeeze can even help lower your heart rate. 

Hugs boost your immune system.
One study shows hugs shorten the common cold infection. Over a 14-day period, participants with colds each received a different number of hugs. People who got more hugs had less severe symptoms and shorter colds. 

Hugs soothe fears.
study on fear and self-esteem, leaving site icon shows hugging and touching greatly lower fears of death. The study notes 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 worry. Research shows that babies who receive a lot of physical affection have a better chance of thriving. Hugs also help them develop better coping mechanisms as they grow up.

There is no downside to hugging.
Hugs are awesome.

Sources:  Science Confirms Hugs Can Ease Pain, Anxiety, And Depression, leaving site icon Science Alert, 2024; 4 Significant Physical Benefits of Hugging, leaving site icon Psychology Today, 2022; Foods That Fight Inflation, leaving site icon Harvard Health Publishing, 2024; Why Hugging Is Actually Good for Your Health, Cleveland Clinic, 2020

Originally published 1/12/2015; Revised 2019, 2022, 2024