When was the last time that you gave someone a really good hug? When was the last time that someone else gave you a really good hug?
It seems as if, in today’s society, more and more people are becoming too accustomed to keeping their “personal spaces,” well…personal. The simple process of giving another person a hug has been compromised and modified so many times over the years to the point where the bare minimum amount of physical contact is required in order to pull off an “acceptable” hug.
Full, two-armed hugs have evolved into half-hugs and even fist bumps. However, you might want to start hugging a lot more people when you consider these five key reasons which prove that hugging people can improve your health in one way or another.
1. Hugs can increase the levels of oxytocin in your body.
Studies have proven that oxytocin is one of the most powerful hormones that are naturally found inside of your body. It is known for fortifying bonds and relationships that you have with your close friends and family members but can even allow you to let your guard down when getting to know absolute strangers as well.
2. Hugs can drastically reduce your stress levels.
Stress is something that can have a detrimental impact on your health — physically, emotionally and mentally. Any sign of physical affection and touching (including hugs) can drastically reduce the level of stress that your body struggles with on a daily basis. One study confirms that your stress levels can drop by at least seven percent just by hugging someone that you care about — whether it be a friend, family member, coworker, neighbor, etc.
3. Hugs can reconnect your body to your mind.
One of the reasons why you should consider giving out more hugs that you may have overlooked, or not even realized, is that they can reconnect your body to your mind. MindBodyGreen states that a good hug has the power to reconnect you to the overall idea and concept of “conscious existence.” According to their website, a good hug is capable of prompting people towards “better posture, deeper breathing, and a more relaxed state of being.”
4. Hugs are effective anti-aging tools.
Thanks to the power of oxytocin that is increased just by giving a loved one a hug, further studies confirm that you can even look younger as well. According to the Huffington Post, research shows that oxytocin can effectively fight age-related health issues since it improves bone health and can even be used as an alternative option to hormone replacement therapy.
What do you think? Are these four reasons enough evidence to prove to you the importance of giving out more hugs?
[Image Credit: Faculty of Medicine]