Are you a hugger or a non-hugger?
Huggers come with a warm embrace even if they’ve just met you. Non-huggers go for handshakes and high-fives before you get too close to them. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re a hugger because it’s completely up to you, but this isn’t just about hugging. Humans don’t realize the importance of making contact with others. We live in such a busy and crowded environment, that it’s easy to go for days, weeks, or even months without any physical human contact. No matter where you’re from or what type of person you are, touch is something every human NEEDS.
Studies show loneliness, especially with age, may increase stress and become detrimental to your health. By hugging someone, you instantly feel a closeness to a person and decrease your feelings of loneliness. University Psychologist Janice Kiecolt-Glaser told USA Today, “The older you are, the more fragile you are physically, so contact becomes increasingly important for good health.”
Here are three reasons why you should practice hugging more.
Hugging Uplifts Your Mood
This simple act triggers the release of oxytocin in your brain. This chemical gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling giving you an improved mood. Oxytocin lays the biological foundation and structure for relating to other people. If you avoid hugs, you reduce your experience of goodwill feelings, leading to feelings of isolation and distrust.
Hugs Reduce Stress
If you feel overwhelmed by life and all its responsibilities, the simple act of touching or being touched activates pressure receptors called Pacinian corpuscles which send signals to your vagus nerve responsible for lowering blood pressure.
When we embrace someone, you reduce the amount of the stress hormone cortisol produced in our bodies, giving you a calming sensation especially during times of depression, stress or anxiety.
Hugging Reduces Stress
Scientists discovered hugging could dissolve fears no matter what the cause. A simple hug may alleviate Physical, existential and spiritual fears and anxieties. Interpersonal touch is a powerful tool to instill a sense of existential purpose. This sensation gives courage and willpower to anyone who receives it.
Do these reasons make you want to hug someone right now?
Don’t hold back and be open to giving and receiving great hugs.
Know there’s someone out there who needs a hug only YOU can give.
Start embracing and make a difference TODAY!
Aimee Harris-Newon, Psy.D., D.A.B.P.S., C.Ht