It goes without saying that humans do whatever they can to stay healthy. They exercise. They eat the way that they're supposed to. They go to the doctor to make sure that they're in tip-top shape. While most people put way more attention into their physical health, they forget that their mental health is just as, if not even more, important than their physical health. It may seem crazy, but one of the best things a person can do for themselves is engage in some intense hugging several times a day, and here are 10 reasons why that's true!
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a message, then you already understand how relaxing they can be.
This is because massages allow the body’s muscles to unclench, cortisol levels to drop, and the heart rate to slow. Once your body is able to fully relax, your mind will become happier and your immune system will become stronger. In fact, when oxytocin is released, which happens when you hug, it’s used to help repair the muscles in the body by enabling fat to be converted in energy! So….the happier you are and the more oxytocin you release, the better your muscles and your overall health will be.
It goes without saying that a lot of humans tend to suffer from the “fear of dying,” which can, unfortunately, cause quite a few debilitating mental health issues.
According to the journal of Psychological Science, researchers have shown that hugs can greatly reduce this fear. In one of their studies, participants on a university campus were approached and handed a questionnaire. Some of the participants were given a light open-palm touch from the researcher and some weren’t given any kind of touch at all. According to the results, those that had received the touch reported that they had less anxiety about dying than those that didn’t receive the touch. Their research shows that hugs can actually play a major role in giving comfort and reassurance to those that struggle with the fear of dying.
According to relationship expert Dr. Pam Spurr, hugging your partner can do a lot for the health of your relationship.
Hugging in relationships can help bring together the part of the relationship that occurs in the bedroom, with the part of the relationship that does all of the day-to-day “business.” Life can get pretty hectic, so hugging helps couples remain emotionally connected throughout the day. When a couple touches, they’re not only communicating with one another, but they’re letting their guard down enough to feel loved and accepted by their partner. Needless to say, hugging allows a couple to maintain a strong emotional connection no matter what’s happening around them.
The only way a young child's brain is going to grow and develop properly is through plenty of stimulation.
It may seem hard to believe, but one of the best ways to achieve this is through physical touch. From the moment a baby is born, their two most important senses are touch and smell, and this can be seen in the infants that live in eastern European orphanages. Sadly, many of the infants in the orphanages were suffering from impaired cognitive development and growth. That was until they introduced 20 minutes of touch into their daily routines. After 10 weeks, researchers found that the babies scored higher on developmental assessments. Because of the undeniable connection between the loving touches that babies receive and their self-worth, these feelings are ingrained into adults as they get older, which allows them to be stay connected with their ability to self-love.
You’ve already learned what oxytocin can do for your immune system, but it does other things for your body, as well, such as help produce feelings of empathy.
According to a study conducted by Jorge A. Barraza and Paul J. Zak, who tested the effects of oxytocin on 145 University of California-Los Angeles students, oxytocin can increase empathy, even in strangers. The students chosen were randomly divided into three groups: one watched an emotional video and played an ultimatum game, the second group watched a control video and played an ultimatum game, and the third group only watched an emotional video. The results showed that oxytocin levels in the participants increased by 47%, which caused the participants to show higher levels of empathy.