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The Benefits of Hugging

Today is Tuesday, January 21, 2020 and it’s National Hug Day! Time to let the people you care about get a little extra love from you! Hugging feels so good…it’s something we do when we’ve missed people, when we celebrate their presence in our lives…or what someone else does for us to make us feel better! Oh….the many reasons for hugs! I couldn’t list them all!

You may (or may not) be surprised at the benefits of hugging. And you may or may not be surprised at the scientific reason we love our hugs. Hugging relieves stress and naturally makes you calmer. Some studies have shown that hugging actually lowers blood pressure…a very good thing for people who experience high blood pressure. Know anyone with high blood pressure? Hug away people!

Here’s another reason to lay those hugs on your loved ones. Studies have proven hugs to actually strengthen immune health! The study found that, even in times of stress, the people who received frequent hugs got sick less often and experienced lessened symptoms and quicker recovery time when they actually did get sick.

Think hugs are important in long-term relationships? Well, hugging might seem less important when you are married for some time and you’re going through daily life. But it’s much more important than you think! During a study, psychologists at England’s University of Hertfordshire asked 500 couples to identify their favorite sleeping positions. Many of them said they were either spooning or touching during sleep. Of the 1000 participants, 94% of them who touched during sleep said they had deeper feelings of fulfillment and satisfaction. The 68% who didn’t touch admitted to being unsatisfied in their relationships. Anyone feeling the incredible power of touch?

Biologically, hugs increase the level of the hormone oxytocin.  Oxytocin makes you feel calmer and less anxious normally. When your body produces cortisol during stressful times (fight or flight response), oxytocin NATURALLY reduces cortisol. So it’s a natural stress reliever (like hypnosis?)! Bet you didn’t see that one coming. So get and give hugs regularly!

If you have ever come into my office, it is highly likely you were hugged! You can take advantage of today and HUG, HUG, HUG! (*Hey, sending you a virtual HUG too!*) But why not try it out all the time? Need a hug? Ask! See your child or spouse experiencing some stress? Give them a big hug! Bet you it makes a world of difference today and every day!

I hope to see some comments about your experiences with hugging!

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