There are a lot of people out there who just aren’t too fond of physical intimacy in any capacity. There are a lot of us who just aren’t too comfortable with the idea of hugging other people – especially those who we aren’t particularly in close relations with. However, according to a lot of different studies, there are some very serious benefits that come with hugging another person. And even though it might sound far-fetched at first, this article is going to be able to convince even the most skeptical among you. Here are a few reasons why you should be more open to hugging.
Hugging has been around for the longest time now. It’s one of the most innately natural forms of affection in human civilization. For instance, mothers always innately hold babies whenever they are young – and they establish that foundation of physical intimacy with their kids almost immediately. The actual act of hugging is very comfortable because of its protective and nurturing essence. It’s a gesture that seeks to place a protective shield on a person. It might be a physical act but there are so many emotional and mental connections that are established during hugs. There are even some meditative properties that are associated with hugging. It’s a simple practice that is made popular by a lot of Zen practitioners. The act of mindful hugging is done when two people hug for a span of three deep breaths. The first breath is meant to represent the presence at the moment. The second breath is dedicated to the appreciation of the person you are with. And the third breath is dedicated to the feeling of safety, joy, and happiness that comes with your togetherness.
In this era, there is just too much turmoil and conflict in this world. That’s why hugging has become more and more important. It’s one of the most intimate forms of non-verbal communication. It’s a gesture that is understood across all sorts of cultures, backgrounds, and races. It doesn’t cost anything of monetary value but it’s definitely worth a lot of emotional wealth. Without much further ado, here are a few health benefits that come with hugging a person.
1. Hugging can help relax a person.
Well, first of all, let’s start with a very basic benefit. Hugs can actually help loosen a lot of tight muscles in both individuals. This is caused to the release of tension that takes place whenever two people are locked in an embrace.
2. Hugging can reduce levels of stress in the body.
As it turns out, getting physically close to another person is also going to translate to emotional intimacy. And when there is a deep emotional bond and connection between two people, it can dramatically relieve stress in the body.
3. Hugging can help strengthen the immune system.
In other studies, hugging has been confirmed to strengthen a person’s immune system. Participants of these studies have proven that they are less susceptible to colds and illnesses whenever they get a good amount of hugs.
4. Hugging can help reduce the likelihood of heart disease.
Hugging has also been proven to lower a person’s heart rate and the production of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is actually a stress hormone that is tied to a lot of serious diseases and health threats.
5. Hugging can help you feel less alone.
When you hug another person, you are releasing Oxytocin. Oxytocin is also known to be the happy hormone. It is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for regulating the sense of camaraderie and bonding that two people share with one another. It’s also responsible for the level of comfort that you might feel with another person.
6. Hugging can help reduce anxiety in a person.
Another chemical that is released in the body during the moment of a hug is dopamine. It is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for the control of a brain’s pleasure and reward centers. A lot of people who go through mental health disorders like depression and anxiety are greatly benefited by dopamine production. That’s why hugging can be a viable cure for depression.
7. Hugging can help fight a person’s fears.
Hugging can also make a person feel less afraid. A lot of studies have determined that hugging can actually help boost a person’s confidence and self-esteem. A lot of people who deal with fears and insecurities can be aided by hugs.
8. Hugging can serve as a great pain reliever.
Hugs are also known to release endorphins in the body which help in the circulation of the blood. It simulates a natural high that makes people feel happy and relaxed.
But it is always important to note that a hug is an action that requires the active participation of two people. You can’t just be hugging another person without their consent. If you want to hug a person, you have to know that they would be willing to receive that hug from you. Ask first. And if they say that they’re not comfortable with the hug, then respect that. Don’t worry about it. Don’t force it. You’re always going to be able to find someone else to hug anyway.