I guess that most of us use hugs to greet long lost friends or to comfort someone that’s feeling down but when’s the last time you had a really good hug? You might be surprised to find out that hugging is actually very therapeutic and can even improve your health!
Have you ever heard of oxytocin? Oxytocin is a naturally occurring hormone that is made in the hypothalamus and is stored and released by the posterior pituitary gland in the brain. When released it produces a feeling of love and satisfaction and a good hug is a great way to get it flowing throughout your body!
But more important than just feeling good, oxytocin is proven to lower blood pressure and to reduce the amount of cortisol that is released into your body. Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” and reducing its levels can help you to have a much deeper and more refreshing sleep.
After learning all the benefits of a simple hug it’s easy to understand why couples that spend a lot of time hugging are more likely to stay together. Believe it or not there are even some recent studies that indicate hugging can actually reduce physical pain!
Now that you know just how beneficial hugging can be it’s time to put your new found knowledge to good use. Keep one thing in mind however; in order for both parties to benefit from this “miracle cure” the hug must be at least 20 seconds long. Now go and hug someone you love today!