You heard right. It does make you healthier. We’re not fooling you with that title. It’s true. Though it won’t make you lose 100 lbs., (okay, this will totally make sense in a bit, I promise), there are several ways that hugging improves our overall personal vigor. It starts with the peptide oxytocin.
Oxytocin is a hormone in the pituitary gland. When released into the body, it decreases stress, fear, anxiety, lowers your blood pressure, and increases your well-being and your memory performance. Oxytocin is present during childbirth and breastfeeding to increase the bonding experience shared between mother and child. It is also known for positively augmenting social behavior and closeness between parents, children, and couples. This unique peptide can be considered the “love hormone”.
There’s a unique feature about hugs and oxytocin: it only works when you hug people you trust. Studies say that as hugging people you love benefits you, the inverse also applies: hugging a total stranger or someone you don’t trust increases stress levels.
Hugs can also adversely affect ones personally in a good way. It softens one’s personality. Over time, it makes him or her more empathic to the feelings of others in their surroundings. So if you see an angsty person around you, give that person a hug. Just kidding. You might get punched in the face.
They also teach you the nature of relationships. It’s all about give and take. You hug, you’re hugged back, and vice versa. It teaches us that love is reciprocated between two people.
Hugging is also a love language as it illustrates physical touch as a way of communicating love to another. That being said, it’s best to find other huggers in order to create a healthy bond with them.
Lastly, when you relish a hug with someone, it momentarily disconnects us from our brains and connects us to our hearts. That’s why people who hug a lot are attuned to their emotions and feelings. So girls, if you want your man to talk more (yes, guys don’t share stuff voluntarily but that can be changed ;)), hug him often. Depending on your approach, he’ll be sharing more stuff with you, or break up with you. We hope it’s the former.
There’s a lot of talk on the number of hugs someone should receive. Is it 4, 8, 12 a day? We won’t give you a definite number. But all we’ll say is get a lot of hugs as often as you can for a happier, healthier you!