Hugging Is Good for You

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Hugging Is Good For Your Health
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Hugs do more than feel good, they are now associated with surprising health benefits. Time for some hugs! Here are some of the health benefits of hugging:

Lowers Blood Pressure: A study that involved 59 women, found that participants that received regular hugs from their partners had lower blood pressure and heart rates. The researchers have linked oxytocin production with better heart health. [1]

Lower Risk Of Heart Diseases: Hugging and hand holding can reduce blood pressure, thus reducing the risk of heart diseases, heart attack, and stroke. A study compared two groups, one who held hands for 10 minutes followed by hugging for 20 seconds, other groups sat silent. The people in the first group had lower blood pressure than the second group. [2]

Reduces Stress: Oxytocin is called the “cuddle hormone” and is associated with happiness and less stress. Oxytocin can cause a reduction in blood pressure and the stress hormone.

Fights Fatigue: A study had found therapeutic touch to be beneficial for pain. [3] While hugging is a form of touch that helps in the release of hormones that have positive effects on mood, thus help to fight fatigue.

Boosts Immune System: Hugs may stimulate the thymus gland, which regulates the production of white blood cells, thus helping to fight off disease. A study that involved 400 participants found that hugging can actually reduce the chances of a person getting sick. [4] The participants who received more hugs and support were less likely to get sick.

Ease Depression: A study has found that touch can relieve anxiety in people with low-self esteem. [5] Hugging a form of touch can also alleviate the sense of loneliness and isolation.

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[1] Light, K.C., K.M. Grewen, and J.A. Amico, More frequent partner hugs and higher oxytocin levels are linked to lower blood pressure and heart rate in premenopausal women. Biological psychology, 2005. 69(1): p. 5-21.

[2] Grewen, K.M., et al., Warm partner contact is related to lower cardiovascular reactivity. Behav Med, 2003. 29(3): p. 123-30.

[3] Monroe, C.M., The effects of therapeutic touch on pain. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 2009. 27(2): p. 85-92.

[4] Cohen, S., et al., Does hugging provide stress-buffering social support? A study of susceptibility to upper respiratory infection and illness. Psychological science, 2015. 26(2): p. 135-147.

[5] Koole, S.L., M. Tjew A Sin, and I.K. Schneider, Embodied terror management: interpersonal touch alleviates existential concerns among individuals with low self-esteem. Psychological science, 2014. 25(1): p. 30-37.

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