Science Says You Should Hug More And Here Is Why

Hugs are great, they make you feel good, they are a good way of showing affection, and even for little kids, this is an instinctual behavior. What’s strange, is that when we grow up, hugs become less likely. We lose that ability to just hug people whenever we want to, because of social norms, work environments, and just fear of being misunderstood.

However, physical touch is as important to adults as it is for kids. In fact, science says you should hug more, and here are the reasons why.

1. Hugs Lower Blood Pressure

If your blood pressure is elevated because of stress and stressful situations, hugs can help you deal with it. Studies show that when people received hugs from their loved ones before or after doing a stressful task – their blood pressure would lower. So you know, if you’re having a super stressful day, or if your loved one is, hugging it out might help.

2. Hugging Stimulated Happy Hormones In Your Brain

Hugs increase the levels of oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin in your brain, all of which are considered to be happiness hormones. Oxytocin makes you feel content and relaxed, dopamine is responsible for pleasure and serotonin controls your mood and makes you feel happier.

3. Hugs Lower Your Heart Rate

Medical studies also show that hugs can significantly reduce a person’s heart rate. So if you feel like you’re panicking and your heart is racing, a hug might be a helpful solution to that problem. People generally tend to feel more relaxed and calmer when hugging.

4. Hugs Can Reduce Stress

Hugs are very important for stress reduction. On one hand, a hug is a great way to comfort a person, show love and support, which makes people feel good. And on the other hand, hugs lower stress hormones in the body, and increase the happy hormones. It’s a win-win situation.

5. Hugs Can Protect Against Illness

Don’t go hugging everyone in the middle of the #2020 pandemic, this year truly is an exception. However, if you get a lot of hugs from early childhood, it strengthens your immune system, because you’re exposed to more bacteria. But even as an adult, a person who receives more hugs will generally get sick less or deal with an illness better, simply because hugs equal a good support system. 

6. Hugs Can Boost Self-Esteem

Studies show that people who struggle with low-self esteem, body-image issues, and constant doubts actually feel better when they receive hugs. Over time it can even boost their self-esteem and make them feel more confident.

7. Hugs Can Reduce Pain

It sounds mind-blowing but simple physical touch can help people deal with pain better. Medical studies show that people feel less pain when they’re being touched by a loved one during a painful procedure. It’s a combined effect of moral and physical support they get through physical touch. And hugs are a form of physical touch, so you should definitely ask for that hug when you’re in pain. 

8. Hugs Have An Overall Positive Effect On Your Health

Therapists say that 8 hugs a day are a minimum of what you should have in order to simply maintain your mental health. To improve it you need twelve hugs a day, but honestly, the more – the better. Combine this knowledge with everything we’ve mentioned above, like lower blood pressure, stress reduction, improved self-esteem, and even pain management, and you don’t have to be a genius to realize that hugs are great for your overall health.