Nothing gives comfort quite like a warm hug but that isn’t the only thing you get from a hug. Besides helping you feel close and connected to people you care about, a hug a day just might keep the doctor away.
Below are 6 reasons why you should get a hug everyday
1. Hugging makes you feel good
Oxytocin is released when we hug someone and this makes us feel warm and good inside. Oxytocin also heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.
2. Hugging strengthens our immune system
According to a 2015 study from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, people who hug regularly are less likely less likely to come down with a cold. The researchers also found that people who hug frequently have less severe cold symptoms compared to those who don’t.
“Hugging protects people who are under stress from the increased risk for colds [that’s] usually associated with stress,” study author Sheldon Cohen, a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania is quoted on US News. Hugging “is a marker of intimacy and helps generate the feeling that others are there to help in the face of adversity.”
3. Hugging lowers blood pressure
Hugging also lowers your blood pressure. According to a report in NPR, pressure receptors called “Pacinian corpuscles” which are found under the skin get activated when you hug. The Pacinian corpuscles then sends signals to the vagus nerve, an area of the brain that is responsible for (among many things) lowering blood pressure.
4. Hugging helps build trust
You build trust and a sense of safety when you hug your partner regularly. This helps with open and honest communication.
5. Hugging is good for the heart
Researchers have also found hugging to be good for the heart. According to researchers from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, people who don’t hug their partner developed a quickened heart rate of 10 beats per minute compared to the five beats per minute among those who hug their partner regularly.
6. Hugging helps you relieve stress
According to a report on NPR, hugging results in a decrease of the stress hormone cortisol.
“Having this friendly touch, just somebody simply touching our arm and holding it, buffers the physiological consequences of this stressful response,” says Matt Hertenstein, an experimental psychologist at DePauw University in Indiana as quoted on NPR.