Oh yes, we all love a nice squeeze once in a while, no? And while we may be single, that doesn’t mean we can’t hug our friends, family – and oh sod it – the lovely granny who lives next door. In fact, a hug a day is far better than an apple a day at keeping the doctor at bay.
We’ve listed the top benefits below, in case you were in any doubt:
Lowers our blood pressure
The next time you give someone a squeeze, inhale deeply and exhale again. You will notice your heart and breathing rate slow down. As the levels of the hormone oxytocin rise, this counterbalances adrenalin that keeps us ready for action and allows our blood pressure to drop.
Helps relieve pain
If you’ve ever fallen in love so hard, you feel that nothing could hurt you, that’s the hormone oxytocin talking. Oxytocin is released during skin-to-skin contact and helps us deal with pain.
When our brains release oxytocin, we are more likely to have a positive outlook when it comes to viewing others, better self-esteem and an easier time trusting other people.
This is the stress hormone that can play havoc with our mood, weight and our hearts when we produced too much of it. In small doses, it is a good thing as it allows us to react to situations but poor stress management can make levels high when it is not needed having an adverse effect on our health. Hugging counterbalances this.
Strengthens your relationship
This will make us feel closer to the person we are touching and helps with bonding. According to the experts, hugs are apparently most effective when they last for 20 seconds or more.
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