Hugging comes naturally to most of us, and we get used to appreciating this contact from childhood. Kids naturally crave hugs because they are a synonym of being supported, cared for and protected. Children have a natural tenderness which shines through yet often diminishes when they get older.
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What are the 4 benefits of hugging? Here's why a cuddle makes us feel on top of the world
1) It boosts our oxytocin
Physical contact often causes for a frequent release of oxytocin. The oxytocin hormone surges when we are in love or when we feel happy and energetic. Children, for example, associate hugs with the sensation of feeling safe and protected. Just think of how many boo boos are soothed with a cuddle and magical kiss. That said, this simple act also helps kids build self-confidence.
2) It makes us patient
Throwing our arms around someone generally help us develop our patience by simply taking time out. They are also great when it comes to communicating our feelings when we are at a loss for words. We think they are way more personable than emojis, too!
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3) It strengthens our immune system
The smile we put on whilst cuddling also release dopamine and serotonin. These hormones boost our moods and reduce our stress levels, which in turn helps avoid psychosomatic illnesses. Hugs enhance the working of the parasympathetic nervous system thanks to a network of pressure system underneath the skin, which help detect touch and communicates it to the brain.
4) It helps us reconnect
This display of affection pulls us out of solitude and encourages us to become more tactile. Viewed as an oxygen ball, they help us reconnect with ourselves, with our bodies and feelings. That being said, not all of us are at ease with the idea of physical contact, and some people really are comfortable with the idea. The feeling of unease is often related to childhood and our relationships with our moms.
Friends, parents, children, lets open our arms and share in this dose of happiness.
Did you know, hugtherapy is a thing and was invented in 1986 by an American Reverend to combat depression? This concept has since given way to hug workshops all over the world.
What happens if you don’t get hugs?
Lack of affection is not just a feeling or an impression, but a real neurological problem. Like all other mammals, all human beings are programmed to touch. In fact, there is a term for the deprivation of affection, and that’s "skin hunger". When we hug, the tactile nerve fiber C, which responds in particular to soft touches and transmits its information more slowly to the brain. Here, the nerve fiber lights up areas of the brain related to the reward system. There is a release of oxytocin, a hormone that plays a fundamental role in our social attitude. It also affects the level of dopamine, which is part of the reward system; it releases serotonin, which is related to our well-being and happiness; and finally, it can have an impact on stress since it lowers our heart rate. So, when we don’t get hugs, we often feel sad, verging on a little depressed too.
Our editor's opinion: Embrace each other more often
Cuddling is sharing, and sharing is caring! Embracing and enlacing each other really is love in the broadest sense and radiates pure human warmth. The best thing about it is that when you give that love away, you get it back. So there's not a minute to lose! Although many of us aren't very touchy-feely, letting our guards down and follow our natural instincts will only make us feel BETTER! Who knew that something, so simple, could make us feel so much better about everything. Cuddles are definitely very powerful, which is why we should aim to throw our arms around each other as much as we can.
🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... Let’s do it here and now!
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