Today is a day to give someone a hug. In fact, today is a great day to do so. Isn’t that every day?
Do you want to feel on top of the world today? Give a hug to a loved one. The tighter, the better.
“Mental hugs” do not count; they must be physical! Now we know that a hug can make us feel great, but why does the body need this?
“A number of studies now showing that this simple act of kindness may have benefit to those who give, and those who receive,” affirms Liz Bonis, medical reporter of Local 12 News Cincinnati.
It sounds grand! However, what are these benefits? It increases the body’s production of oxytocin, which explains why hugs make us feel great, as mentioned previously.
Let’s examine what oxytocin is and what its bodily benefits are. Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter which helps the emotional centre of the brain with feelings of happiness and reduction of stress and anxiety. Look lively, ladies – it has been shown that oxytocin makes men more affectionate and bond better.
One such study that Bonis from Local 12 News Cincinnati describes is the one by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It suggests that hugging and social support will make you less likely to be ill due to stress.
Carnegie conducted an experiment to prove this on 404 healthy adults. For each of these test subjects for fourteen evenings without fail, questionnaires were on the pulse for social support and interpersonal conflicts and hug frequencies were noted by the team via telephone interviews.
After those two weeks elapsed, they were all intentionally exposed to the common cold virus and monitored in quarantine to look at the infection as a whole, signs and symptoms. The results showed a lowered risk of infection associated with aforementioned conflicts due to social support.
Hugs made up roughly 33% of the total protective social support, a considerable amount by all accounts. Among those infected with the common cold, symptoms were milder for those who received social support and engaged in frequent hugging, regardless of whether or not they endured any conflict.
Unlike pills and other forms of medication, hugs cost nothing in terms of your wallet. How is that for a great feeling?
In brief, hugging makes you feel positively happy, healthy, and smiling, without leaving a hole in your pocket in terms of having to buy medication. Unfortunately, we are not able to give you a hug to say thanks for reading, but what we can do is encourage you to go hug crazy with friends and family and even people you do not even know.