One simple hug is a powerful form of self-expression, expressing many different forms of moods, emotions, and feelings through it.
The feelings that we express through hugs can be of joy, happiness, fear, excitement, pity, sadness, love, and admiration. Hugs can also be given to show comfort and care.
They show a deeper connection to our humanity from the linking that happens with the body of another person, almost as if momentarily the two are linking each other’s souls.
People that feel sad get great comfort from a warm hug. These hugs can trigger many reactions that we are not aware of, which generally can be very beneficial to our wellbeing and health. Scientific evidence proves that there are 5 important reasons why we should hug more in our lives:
- Reduces stress levels
Hugging someone can reduce cortisol levels that are being circulated around our body. A 2013 study has experimented with hugs and their effects on people who are in a long-distance relationship. The participants had to sit for a 15-minute conversation with their distant partner by a life-size humanoid device that is also huggable. Others had to communicate with their partners through mobile phones. The people that communicated through the huggable device had their stress level tremendously reduced as opposed to the ones who were just talking on the phone. Stress can exhaust a person. Whether we are having a bad time at work or school, we always feel unhappy, demoralized, and weak. We are looking for some kind of strength to go ahead which can be achieved by just one warm hug from a loved one. The hug will calm the emotions that we are feeling taking away any self-doubt. The people that are close to us and care for us give us motivation and strength through their closeness and warmth. Whenever you are feeling down, take your partner and put yourself into his/her arms. Or even better, grab your kid and give it a bear scoop. This can be the best kind of hug that will give you motivation and inspiration.
- Helps with grief
One of the hardest things that we can go through in our lives is losing someone that we love. We can find ourselves not able to do any daily chores or thing and we will be feeling like we are unable to carry on and unable to stop feeling the painful grief. We get stuck to the past, unable to see the future. At that moment we feel very vulnerable and punished by the world. A simple hug can revive our spirits and give us true comfort. In those times of sorrow and grief, hugging someone, whether they are someone close or someone we do not know can help us get through the pain and calm our souls. This won’t take away the grief entirely however, it will give us the strength to keep on going and fight off the emotional torture. It is important to know that when we make a condolence call to wrap the bereaved in our arms for as long as they release the hug which will make them draw peace from your warmth.
- Can make you happier
By hugging someone, you can improve that person’s mood and disposition. Hugs can help keep the oxytocin levels pulsating. A study done in 2006 shows that the levels of this hormone are elevated when we hug a person that we love. The affection that we feel may be short-lived or even lifelong, however, it is there. Oxytocin is also associated with euphoria and happiness which levels rise when we come in contact with the ones that we love. This hormone’s effects are stronger in women and it is known to stimulate the contraction of the muscles during labor. It is also known to decrease blood pressure in women, however, this is not the case for men.
- Reducing the risk of getting ill
Hugging can reduce stress and make you happy which can lead to your body to be kept healthy and less exposed to illnesses. From these illnesses, we exclude the ones that are being transmitted from bodily fluids and external agents. A study was done in 2014, in which 404 adults were involved, shows that social interactions and hugs can greatly reduce stress and its negative effects. These participants were exposed to the common cold virus and the only people who got sick were the ones who did not have a better care system and sources of affection. Illnesses are more prone to affect a fatigued and weak body much easier than ones who are energized. Even though there are better methods for stopping any illnesses, the hugs will give your body, mind, and spirit an additional edge.
- Reduce anxiety and fear
A hug can help people feel less tense, anxious, tense, frightened, or worried at the particular time that they are feeling these emotions. Adrenaline courses through one’s veins when they are scared or anxious and getting a hug from another person is crucial to stop these emotions, thus feeling more protected. The person that is being hugged draws boldness and courage from the one that hugs, making their heart rate normalize. The Association for Psychological Sciences released a study in 2013 that shows a touch can greatly lessen the fear in people who have low self-esteem. Students were organized on campus to answer some questions on paper. During their answering, she touched some of the students on their shoulders and was later discovered that the ones she touched had less ‘death anxiety’ during the answering of the questions.
Make sure you give more hugs and receive more hugs in your life. Being a beautiful form of communication, hugs can help build bonds and reduce your stress.