A hug can convey what one cannot express in words. It is a powerful tool of communicating your feelings without saying anything. If you are stressed, and want to feel better in a minute, you may ask for a comforting hug from a loved one. There is scientific evidence to support that hugs cause a decrease in the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone and can bring down your blood pressure and heart rate in stressful situations.
Hugging is not only good for your mental health, apparently it also prevents you from falling sick. A study found that hugging may reduce a person’s chances of getting sick or catching a cold.
Tim Gray, health optimising biohacker, psychology specialist, entrepreneur and global speaker in a post on his Instagram handle explains how hugs can do wonders for your health.
“Hugs are SO powerful, and are great for reducing stress rapidly, improving overall health, relieving depression, reducing blood pressure and boosting the immune system too. According to scientists, the benefits of hugging go beyond that lovely connected warm feeling you get when you hold someone close. It’s especially great with a close friend or a partner and also helps create stronger bonds with new people,” says Gray.
Gray goes on to add that when hugging for more than a minute it creates a magical connection that you can’t really explain – but science can. “It creates stillness, calmness, a warm homely feeling – and time almost stands still,” he writes.
Hugging actually boosts the production of oxytocin that is also associated with better heart health.
“Oxytocin, plus other hormonal reactions that happen during hugging are the reason they’re super powerful. Oxytocin is often dubbed as the “cuddle hormone” bc (because) of its relationship to key aspects of relationships such as trust, devotion, and bonding,” says Gray.
“Increased Oxytocin is also associated with better heart health – I certainly notice my resting heart rate reduce when I’m in a relationship. Hugs bring us out of “fight or flight” mode (we don’t hug dangerous things) calming the nervous system, and helping us heal,” he adds.
So the next time you feel stressed and not able to get out of it, try a hug.