The Psychological Benefits of Hugs
A hug is much more than the union between two bodies. Hugging your loved ones brings peace, strengthens the immune system, and it can even improve your blood pressure.
When you’re sad, if you want to celebrate, or even just to show affection… hugs are always the best present, and ever-welcome.
Did you know that hugging others, or being hugged, benefits the body? We’re not only talking about the physical body, but the emotional and psychological as well.
Let’s take a deeper look at the emotional and psychological benefits of hugs in this article.
We all need hugs to be happy
Physical contact is not limited to intimacy between couples. You can hug your friends, your parents, siblings, grandparents, and even people you don’t know.
Once you understand the benefits of hugging, you’ll start to relate differently with the people that surround you.
You’ll have to change your habits, because in current society, displays of affection aren’t seen well. But they are so beautiful! Having genuine feelings and letting the other person know is wonderful!
Hugs, or physical contact between babies and their mothers is vital for their survival.
There are a lot of cases in which recently born babies that are placed in incubators recover vital signs when someone (including a nurse or doctor) takes them out of the covered crib and gives them a beautiful, warm hug.
Feeling protected and loved imbues a sense of peace and removes stress, allowing the body to heal and work towards health.
If the opposite occurs, and the baby does not receive affection and does not have contact with other humans, they may not survive, no matter how much they are fed and given medicines.
What are the benefits of hugs?
Hugs affect each person differently, but there are a few feelings that everyone shares when it comes to embracing another sincerely.
You’ll experience a beautiful feeling of peace and relaxation. You’ll also feel protected and loved.
Based on what science tells us, let’s explain physical contact with another (a caress, hand-squeeze, or hug) releases a certain hormone called oxytocin, which is also known as the “happy hormone”.
It’s automatic: you feel a connection with the other, which makes you feel wonderful.
It reduces stress levels and makes you more peaceful when you’re hugged. It also reduces pain, depression and anxiety.
Wrapping yourself up in a hug with someone you love greatly, during a hard time, is highly comforting and often the best remedy to make you feel better.
When you’re wrapped up with someone else it seems like problems don’t exist, or they’re less intense, and illness symptoms or discomfort fades away.
As explained on the website The Marvelous Mind, the primary benefits of hugging include:
Increase in confidence and security
This is because you feel supported and protected. Before getting on stage to give a presentation, or taking an exam, hugging someone you love will make your heart beat slower and will calm your nerves.
It’s worth trying!
Hugs are great for reconciliation and for “fixing things” when you’re upset.
They also create empathy in someone you don’t know well, or that you might not like very much.
Whenever you have a bad day at work, or it seems like your problems are overrunning you, hug someone!
You’ll feel happy and secure, you’ll have a higher self-esteem and you’ll be able to solve any problem.
If you feel bad about yourself, you should also try this natural medicine.
Other benefits of hugs
And if that weren’t enough, hugging and being hugged has even more advantages:
- Improves certain behavioral patterns in children.
- Helps you rest and sleep better.
- Increases attention and motivation.
- Calms the brain (this is perfect for preventing memory or concentration problems)
In regards to the physical benefits of hugs (which are also important), they:
- Strengthen the immune system by creating white blood cells.
- Reduce the risk of suffering from early dementia because it balances the nervous system.
- Reduce blood pressure. It’s better than never eating salt.
Why is it hard for me to give hugs?
A lot of people have developed a certain kind of armor or shield as they grew up, which prevents them from expressing their emotions, much less coming into physical contact with someone.
Hugging and being hugged is a habit that not everyone has. And if you try to develop it, it could take you quite some time.
When we refer to hugs, we’re talking about various seconds wrapped up with another human being. This activity increases temperature, slows the heart rate and breathing, and makes us feel loved and cared for.
To start, try testing this out with a simple caress or gentle contact. Then continue practicing with intense, prolonged hugs.
Don’t worry if at first you feel rigid, and you don’t want to wrap your arms around someone, or if you don’t want your chests to touch. Think about how many benefits you’ll get, along with those you’re providing simply with hugging.
Being more affectionate can be learned, and it takes time. You don’t have to be scared or feel strange. “Hug therapy” is perfect for curing any ailment.
That’s reason enough to try it, yes?