Hugging is a universal language that everybody understands. It is also very flexible in meaning when we hug. We can hug somebody who just graduated to show that we are proud of them; we can hug someone who is feeling down to show our care, consideration and love for that person, and let them know we are there for them; we can hug someone we haven’t seen in a while as a welcoming hello. No matter what the reason, hugging and cuddling makes us feel great! We usually don’t think about why it makes us feel great though, which is why it’s time to shed some light on the scientific reasons and benefits that hugging and cuddling brings us!
Allows You to Face Your Fears
In a study at the University of Virginia, they experimented with stress levels of women who were told they would receive a mild shock. Without question, each woman’s level of stress skyrocketed when they were by themselves. When they were holding hands with a male experimenter, however, their stress levels were reduced. When they held hands with their significant other, their stress levels plummeted. The next time you are feeling afraid, just grab (literally) your partner or friend. Their touch will help relieve your stress and calm your nerves!
Boosts Your Immune System
When you are feeling stressed, your immune system doesn’t work at full capacity, resulting in a higher chance of getting a cold or other illness. When you are in constant contact with another entity, be it a person or even a dog, your stress levels decrease, resulting in a better chance of keeping your body at optimal health!
If you are single or don’t have somebody to cuddle with at the moment, there are apps that will help you out. There is an app called spoonr that helps you find a platonic cuddle buddy. That may sound weird, but you may just want to give it a try if you’re wanting a cuddle.
Increases Oxycontin, Decreases Blood Pressure
When you touch, the oxycontin in your body increases greatly and rushes to your brain. Oxycontin are “feel good” chemicals, much like endorphins, that provide your brain with positive emotions and energy. When your oxycontin increases, your blood pressure and heart rate lowers, resulting in a lower chance of heart attacks. Working out and dieting are also a great way to lower your blood pressure, so workout and plan your meals with your partner to get healthy!
Relieve Your Pain
Not only does oxycontin reduce your blood pressure and regulate your heart rate, it also helps relieve your pain. When you hurt your neck or back, you usually get your partner to rub it for you, and it starts to feel better. Or, remember when you were a kid, and your mom would kiss your ‘boo-boo’ and rub it better? Getting a massage is a great way to increase oxycontin and relieve your pain if your partner or mom isn’t there to make you feel better.
Hugging Can Reduce Your Social Anxiety
Have you felt nervous going to a house party that your friend invited you to, but where there would be people you didn’t know? Then when you got to the party, you hugged the host and a few of your friends, and your anxiety started to slowly decrease? As you met the other party-goers, you shook their hand, and all of your anxiety was gone. Have you ever wondered why that happens? You guessed it! Oxycontin in action again! All of that human contact that you just endured has increased your oxycontin, which has helped ease your stress and anxiety.
Cuddling Helps Strengthen Your Relationship
When you are cuddling with your significant other, it is just you and them. The next time you or your partner are feeling stressed, be it with life or with a job, suggest a nice cuddle session. Even if you cuddle for five minutes, you will forget about your stress while you hold your partner and they hold you. In doing this, you and your partner will feel closer emotionally, as well as physically, and it reminds each of you that you want to be together and that you love each other.
These are just few of the many benefits that cuddling has to offer. The next time you are feeling down, ask a friend or your partner for a hug! You will start to feel better instantly. Don’t forget to share the love; if you see somebody in need of a hug, give it to them—you will make their day, and help make both of you less stressed and healthier! It’s definitely a win-win to get a great hug or cuddle.