Benefits of giving (and receiving) hugs that science endorses
The Hugs They are a powerful expression of trust and affection and provide us with a series of pleasures, through the release of oxytocin, which science has managed to collect. That's why, with the help of The Epoch Times, we discovered you 10 reasons to hug every day.
Hugs reduce the fear of death
In a series of studies on fear and self-esteem published in the journal 'Psychological Science', researchers showed that hugs and physical contact significantly reduce the fear of death.
In one of them, participants were approached while walking through a university campus and were given a questionnaire. Those who received light contact from the investigator, reported less anxiety for the death in the questionnaire than those who had not been touched. This research suggests that touch plays a beneficial role in providing comfort and tranquility to people who are depressed
Hugs can decrease food cravings
We often eat for our emotions, rather than for hunger. Eating sends oxytocin to dopamine-rich areas of the brain, making us feel pleasure and relaxation. This helps explain why eating can act as a relaxant that mimics the feelings of comfort we get from close friends and family.
"We need four hugs a day to survive, eight hugs to keep us and twelve hugs to grow"
The oxytocin, which gives us feelings of trust and generosity and reduces stress and anxiety, it is also released by physical contact and interactions with other people. Thus, improving our relationships can have a positive impact on weight loss, since we increase the segregation of oxytocin in our body and that reduces food cravings.
Hugs increase bonding and strengthen relationships
Experts say that a simple hug can help a lot maintain healthy and happy relationships with otherss. For couples, the hug helps close the gap between what happens in the bedroom and what happens in everyday life. Maintains intimacy It occurs when making love and ensures that couples feel emotionally connected to each other.
One study suggested that hugs are more important for a couple's happiness than sex, as it provides many benefits, such as the stimulation of our touch centers and our olfactory centers. This is the reason why the smell and touch of our partner make us feel loved and cared for. In this way, physical contact and hugs are the best ways to maintain a strong emotional bond.
Hugs improve self-esteem
Hug increase self esteem, especially in children. Touch and smell are the two most important senses in babies, and a baby recognizes his parents by touch. From the moment we are born, contact with our family shows us that we are special and loved, being one of the most important stimulations that can facilitate child development.
This association between self-esteem and touch remains embedded in our adult nervous system. Hugs remind us of the affection we received when we were babies and, therefore, they connect us with our capacity for self-love.
The hugs make the muscles relax
As with a relaxing massage, which has mental and physical benefits (lower heart rate, less cortisol, less tense muscles), hugs give us the ability to relax and recharge, resulting in a happier emotional state and an improved immune system.
The increase in oxytocin levels promotes optimism and self-esteem, raising our "scale of happiness"
Oxytocin, which is released into the bloodstream while hugging, helps the body to repair muscles faster. It does this by allowing fat in the body to become energy and is used for muscle repair. Healthy levels of oxytocin lead to better energy conversion, and therefore better repair and muscle growth.
Hugs increase empathy and understanding
Oxytocin also has other benefits, such as increased feeling of empathy. A study from the University of California Los Angeles showed how oxytocin increases empathy, even among complete strangers. Just by hugging someone, oxytocin is released in the brain, triggering a feeling of empathy in our brain.
Hugs increase happiness
Another study from the same university in 2011 showed that the increase in oxytocin levels promotes optimism and self-esteem, raising our "scale of happiness". In fact, studies estimate that 50 percent of our happiness is genetic, 10 percent is affected by our environment and forty percent is determined by how we are fed.
In a study conducted at Pennsylvania State University, students were divided into two groups. The first group should give or receive a minimum of five hugs a day, to as many different people as possible, over the course of four weeks. The second group had no instructions in this regard. After four weeks, the first group had hugged an average of 49 times and had reported being much happier than the members of the second group.
Hugs improve our sexual and couple life
Researchers at the University of Toronto Mississauga tested the correlation between affectionate behavior after sex (kiss, hug and talk) and sexual satisfaction and relationship. The study concluded that couples who spent more time together after sex felt more satisfied with their sex lives and their relationship, indicating that spending time to share intimacy after sex reaffirms the emotional bond and sexual between a couple and makes it stronger.
Hugs can help treat insomnia and anxiety
There is a type of market heavyweight blanket and that is molded to the body imitating a warm hug. The body responds as if it were receiving physical contact, and the brain releases serotonin, causing the nervous system to relax. With the relaxed nervous system the body is able to fall into a deeper sleep, more repairing.
A 2008 study showed that these types of blankets with weight offered a safe and effective therapy for decrease anxiety in patients. These results were confirmed in a 2012 study that indicated that these types of blankets successfully reduce anxiety and the visible signs of anxiety.
Hugs teach us to give and receive
The hug is a reciprocal act; We give and receive. They show us that love flows both ways, we are opening ourselves to another person's energy field and building a relationship of trust.
Virginia Satir, a famous American psychologist and social worker, pointed out that we need four hugs a day to survive, eight hugs to keep us and twelve hugs to grow. Do you meet it? If the answer is no, you know how to put a solution: the benefits, as we have told you, are very valuable.