Hugs are defined as the act of stretching one’s arms around another person in an embrace as a sign of affection or sympathy.
However, in recent years, this act has received a lot of attention as it’s been found that hugs offer great benefits for both your physical and mental health. And although we may take them for granted, hugs are a powerful weapon to fight stress and overcome negative emotions.
A good hug lasts for 20 seconds or longer and should occur between two people that love or trust each other enough.
Try giving more hugs every day, several times a day. They possess therapeutic benefits that will increase your sense of well-being.
Want to learn more? Keep reading for 10 reasons to make giving more hugs a daily habit.
1. Improve your mood
A hug from a loved one can completely turn your day around and eliminate negative energies.
Hugs stimulate the secretion of oxytocin, also know as the love hormone; and endorphins, substances responsible for feelings of well-being.
By giving a hug, we’re sharing positive emotions that help recharge us with positive energy.
2. Relieve pain
This simple act of love is one of the most effective ways to relieve physical and mental pain. Hugs’ ability to increase levels of oxytocin force the body to focus on the present moment, leaving pain in the background.
3. Increase security
The warm feeling of a hug increases our sense of security and chases away feelings of loneliness. Hugs have the ability to unlock the emotions, improve relationships and prevent behavior problems.
4. Raise self-esteem
This is one of the main benefits that you can get from giving or receiving more than four hugs a day. This practice significantly reduces fear and anxiety, decreasing dependence on the opinion of others to feel at ease.
This is due to the positive energy and feel-good hormones that are released every time you give or receive a hug.
This scientific fact explains a really common phenomenon: children who hug their favorite stuffed animal tend to calm down and feel safer than if they were alone.
5. Prevent heart attacks
A daily dose of hugs has the ability to protect the heart by helping to control its rhythm and blood flow.
Hugging increases levels of oxygen in the blood to keep the heart functioning normally.
People who don’t hug as often or experience some form of physical contact are at a higher risk for suffering heart-related illnesses associated with a higher heart rate.
6. Improve the nervous system
The calming effect of hugs not only offers benefits for your cardiovascular health, but also for your nervous system.
Giving or receiving a hug a few times a day relaxes the nerves and prevents stress, anxiety and other negative emotions from complicating our lives.
7. Strengthen the immune system
When oxytocin is released in sufficient quantities, it lowers your risk of developing infections and immune diseases.
This is due to the fact that it increases the presence of antibodies to help the body more effectively fight off viruses and bacteria.
8. Neuronal development
Affection expressed through hugs is crucial for neuronal development during the first years of life.
Not receiving this form of affection causes nerve death, reducing mental and motor ability in later years.
According to a study by Duke University, babies that didn’t receive enough hugs had a brain up to 20% smaller.
Want to learn more? Read: 9 Habits that Will Lengthen Your Life
9. Strengthen bonds
Body language is a key factor in happy relationships. Couples who hug each other share a stronger bond that allows them to feel more secure and loved.
10. Control blood pressure
The physical contact with another person when giving or receiving a hug lowers blood pressure by activating receptors known as corpuscles, which are found in the skin and send signals through the nerves.
This makes the body feel more protected, the heart rate stabilizes and blood pressure returns to normal.
Are you giving and receiving your daily dose of hugs? They don’t cost a thing and are a great way to make your life more pleasant.
Don’t wait to start sharing more hugs with the people in your life that give it meaning.