We all love a good hug! Be it as a greeting, over an accomplishment, to show gratitude, or to comfort someone; a hug is a universal social gesture which crosses cultural and social boundaries. But, in addition to being a gesture, hugs are actually pretty darn great for you. Below are 5 reasons why.
1.Hugs build trust
Hugs lead to an increased release of oxytocin levels into our bloodstream. Oxytocin increases the sense of bonding and connection, thus reducing feelings of isolation and building trust.
2. Hugs can reduce depression
Hugs can increase the production of dopamine in your brain significant enough to be noticed in PET scans. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s pleasure centers. Coupled with the above, regular hugs may help alleviate depression.
3. Hugs can lower stress
Hugs can reduce the levels of cortisol in your blood, which is our stress hormone. Studies at both Carnegie Mellon and Emory University have suggested links between hugs and lowered stress, and during stressful events, the former suggested hugs “could even help you stay calm, cool, and collected during the event.”
4. Hugs make you happier
Hugging can increase the production of serotonin from your brain which can boost your mood and lead to an increased sense of pleasure and happiness, and negate sadness.
5. Hugs can boost your immune system
Studies at Carnegie Mellon showed a correlation between an increased frequency of hugs and a decreased frequency of colds. Additionally, those receiving frequent hugs also demonstrated fewer, milder symptoms of their illness.