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It’s true. Hugging for just 10 seconds can increase feel-good hormones like oxytocin, which causes stress chemicals like cortisol to drop and help lower your blood pressure. A study by Dr. Jan Astrom shows giving or getting a hug has positive effects.
Looking for a reason to hug someone? Here are a few:
Hugs are calmingBecause hugging can raise your level of oxytocin, a good hug can leave you feeling calmer and less anxious. Stressed out about something? Hug it out.
Hugs are good for your heartNot only does a hug feel good, it’s good for a heart healthy lifestyle. In an experiment at the University of North Carolina participants who didn't have any contact with their partners developed a faster heart rate than those who received hugs.
Hugs make you happyOxytocin isn’t the only hormone released during a hug. Hugs can also release serotonin and dopamine to help lift your mood.
Hugs can help soothe your fearsA study on fears and self-esteem, shows hugging and touching greatly lower fears of death. The study notes that even if it’s just a stuffed teddy bear, hugging helps soothe a person’s fears.
Well-hugged babies lead to well-adjusted adults Can’t stop hugging your baby? Don’t worry. Research shows that babies who receive a lot of physical affection will develop better coping mechanisms as they grow up.
There is no downside to huggingHugs are awesome.
Originally published 1/12/2015; Revised 2019, 2022
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