The Power of Hugs: Benefits to Your Health
In addition to the receiver, the person who’s giving a hug also benefits from its effects. And don’t forget…the positive benefits continue after physical contact.
Who doesn’t like hugs? Well, speaking from our point of view we think hugs are fabulous and most of you reading this will probably agree about the wonderful feelings hugs can create. But why do we like hugs so much? In today’s article we’ll tell you about the power of hugs and explain some of the health benefits of both giving and receiving them.
Hugs can come from anyone, be it a friend, a family member, a loved one, your partner, or just a person who sympathizes with you. This embrace is considered to be one of the primary displays of affection between human beings. Keep reading to discover the health benefits and power of hugs.
Emotional benefits of an embrace
Studies have shown that hugs cause the brain to release endorphins, and this leads to better healing throughout the entire body. In addition to that, an embrace is a form of therapy that generates feelings of well-being, and can reduce blood pressure or even menstrual pain in women. A hug can also ease a headache, and reduce anxiety, stress, or depression. It may build self-esteem, calm the nerves, remind you that you’re not alone, cure insomnia, help you overcome fear, stimulate the senses, bring you joy, calm the soul, and some people even claim that it slows the aging process and helps control appetite. After all that, would you even consider asking, “What’s the use in getting a hug?”
Hugging another person also has positive physiological benefits to the body. The secretion of oxytocin, a hormone, is one of them. Oxytocin is known as the attachment or bonding hormone, and it’s not just for children – it improves the quality of life in people regardless of what their age is. There are so many benefits of hugs that “hug therapy” is actually used to treat depression and other psychological disorders.
Hugs also release other hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which have a sedative effect on the body, producing sensations of tranquility, wellness, and calmness. But most interesting is that this effect is not only produced during the embrace, but can persist for long after physical contact. One curious note is that scientific studies have shown that embraces and caresses have a greater effect on women than men, but that both groups do benefit.
Drawing on the book by Kathleen Keating, “Hug Therapy,” we can tell you that hugs not only make you feel good, but they’re also essential to the mental and intellectual development of children, helping them overcome fears. This is also an anti-aging factor.
In the book she writes:
“Physical contact is not only pleasant, but necessary for our psychological, emotional, and physical well-being, increasing the joy and health of the individual in society. The hug is a very special way of touching, making you accept yourself better and feel more accepted by others.”
So to sum up, what are the benefits of hugs?
- Protection: As human beings we’re fragile, and want to always feel protected. Nothing provides this better than a hug.
- Confidence: When you’re confident you aren’t afraid to face the challenges that may arise during the day. After a good hug, nothing can stop you.
- Security: A feeling of security is essential to your daily life. You could even say it’s the fuel that helps generate the confidence you need to accomplish your goals.
- Strength: If you have strength within, you’ll share that energy with the people you hug and others around you.
Last but not least!
Regardless of the meaning behind the embrace, everyone knows what type of hug they are giving and receiving and the physiological benefits that come with it. From a friend, a hug can simply be joyful, but a hug from your partner may be “playful” or something more exhilarating. No matter what, never turn down a hug!