Researchers suggest that hugging may benefit women more than men. Although it’s true that a warm hug is great for everyone, it appears that hugging has more health benefits in women than in men.
After studying the effect hugging can have on people’s health, a team of researchers at the University of North Carolina have found that hugging increases the levels of oxytocin, a hormone released during childbirth and breastfeeding (also known as the “bonding” or the “cuddle” hormone). Both men and women experienced higher levels of this hormone when hugged. However, the study revealed that the release of oxytocin has a greater effect on women’s hearts.
It was a well-known fact that hugging can reduce blood pressure and cut the risk of heart disease. The new study demonstrated that this is particularly true for women. But do not worry! Men can also improve their health and well-being with a hug a day.
Other Health Benefits of Hugging
The great benefits of receiving a hug run deep. Did you know that hugging releases emotionally positive brain chemicals? Yes, you’re actually spreading happiness when you hug someone. During hugging your body releases dopamine and serotonin or the “feel-good” hormone. Serotonin is responsible with regulating mood, preventing depression and basically making you happy. So boost your serotonin levels with a hug today!
Hugs can also lower your heart rate and alleviate your fears and anxiety. The link between a positive emotional state and low levels of stress has already been established. Interpersonal touch is very powerful for our physical and mental health. Hugging can make you worry less about issues that you deal with on a daily basis, or even existential problems.
So all you need to do to become a bit less stressed today is go hug someone. Doesn’t it feel good? It has been proven over and over that social support and a stable social network is extremely important for a healthy and balanced life. Studies also indicate that adults are the ones who benefit the most from hugging.
Hugging a loved one also makes it easier to connect to that person on a deeper level. And if you’ve been feeling lonely lately, know that a hug can also decrease feelings of loneliness. All things considered, hugs are an excellent way to stay physically and mentally healthy. Don’t ever underestimate the power of squeezing someone you care about!
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