Hug It Out!
You know how incredibly nice it feels to cuddle up with someone? Well...guess what? Research shows that hugging happens to have amazing health benefitsas well.
According to a study published by Carnegie Mellon University, hugging boosts your immune system, releases endorphins, and even increases circulation. The scientists found that huggers are less likely to get sick—and have milder symptoms when they do.
And that’s not all…hugging can affect hormones in a positive way. Hugging naturally releases oxytocin (which is referred to as the “cuddle” or “bonding” hormone) which helps strengthen interpersonal relationships. Oxytocin increases our levels of serotonin and dopamine, which may be the reason for its soothing and mood-lifting effects.
Hugging can also literally calm you down by decreasing the stress hormone cortisol, which leads to lowering your heart rate and blood pressure (and ultimately helps prevent heart disease). As if that’s not enough. . .many experts link hugging to lower depression and believe it may ease attention disorders.
Technique of the week: Make a conscious effort to hug and cuddle more than usual. Don’t think of hugging as just a way to make someone else feel better, it will improve your health in so many meaningful ways too!