Reasons Why Hugging Is Really Good For Your Health

We all love to hug, to feel loved and safe. But did you know that hugs have other great benefits and that it’s good to hug as often as we can? Let’s find out the amazing effects of hugging and why is actually really good for your health.

Reduce stress, relieve depression and anxiety
During hugging oxytocin is released, a hormone that promotes affection in relationships. When you hug, there is a relaxation, a decrease in heart rate and stress hormone levels,  and cortisol and noradrenaline levels. The hugs have a calming effect, knowing that oxytocin increases the levels of good-looking hormones such as serotonin and dopamine.

A study by the University of Ohio State found that when animals in shelters were treated with a pharmacological agent that inhibits oxytocin, they showed an increase in depressive behavior.

Decrease blood pressure and inflammation

A research from North Carolina University showed that premenopausal women, who received more frequent hugs from their partners, had lower blood pressure levels than those who didn’t benefit from this gesture. Other studies in animals have shown that oxytocin diminishes inflammation as a result of acute stroke and heart attack.

Increase immunity and tolerance to pain, relieve cold symptoms

In another study, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in the US analyzed the effects of social support and hugs on the risk of contracting a flu. Those who felt a greater social support had a lower risk to get sick. Among those who were cold but who had hugs, the symptoms were less severe.

Oxytocin released during hugging can improve immune function and tolerance to pain. Other research has shown that oxytocin has analgesic effects, resulting in a reduction in the intensity of perceived pain when participants were subjected to impulses generated by an infrared laser.