Researchers have been turning up exciting new evidence that a good hug may stimulate real physiological benefits. Here are a few reasons to seek out a hug today:
- Hugging a loved one may reduce both blood pressure and heart rate—which is good for your heart and your stress level.
- And hugging may even protect against future stress. Hugs may minimize the increases in blood pressure and heart rate that accompany stressful events.
- Hugging someone you trust may stimulate a release of the hormone oxytocin, which is associated with social bonding and intimacy. That means a good hug could actually help deepen a relationship.
- There’s evidence that hugging may even lower the stress hormone cortisol – making you feel more relaxed and improving your heart’s health.
- And hugging may even improve memory!
Not all hugs are created equal, though. Unsolicited hugs can actually cause stress – especially if you don’t know the person well. And while hugs from friends are plenty nice, the biggest health benefits seem to come from close contact with a significant other.
So, grab a loved one and hug it out! It’ll feel great, and you may even get a little health boost, too!
How do you feel about hugs? All the time or only on occasion? Share in the comments below!