Life endowed us with a lot of therapeutic ways to melt the daily stresses away. One powerful example comes in the form of a hug. But the important question is, why do we need a hug in a day, or even in life?
Well, you’ve probably given or received at least one hug in your lifetime. How did it feel? Were you improved, elevated, or warmed up? You may not truly know it but the answer is likely a yes.
There are a lot of studies that show how therapeutic hugs are. Truth is, hugging is an enriching therapy. It is your body’s way of healing. Time and again, studies have claimed that humans need at least 8 hugs a day. But in what way do we really need this amount of hugs? Together, let’s find out!
1. A hug can raise Oxytocin levels
Can you recall a time when all you needed to be fine was a good, warm hug? Research reveals that the simple act of hugging increases your oxytocin levels. Well, what are these? Oxytocin levels are essential in healing feelings of depression, anxiety, loneliness, anger, and isolation.
Little do we know, but we peel scraps of each of our sadness away through this simple yet significant act. That is why when you’re lonely or stressed, a hug may seem such an appealing thing. It is your body’s way of destressing.
Moreover, the way a hug is conducted also determines how beneficial it can be. The deeper the hug is, the more beneficial it is. And apparently, the most potent of all is when you feel the heart of the person you’re hugging. So the next time you hug somebody, make sure it’s done the proper way. Well, isn’t it an amazing thing to find two hearts literally beat as one?
2. It serves as an Immune System booster
There are a lot of wonders which we know nothing about hugs. One of them is how great an element it is in strengthening immune systems. Of course, it’s for both the receiver and the giver.
As two people hug, they activate each other’s Solar Plexus Chakra. This happens when pressure is made on a person’s sternum. Consequently, it becomes a signal to boost the thymus gland. Now, the thymus gland is instrumental in regulating your body’s production of white blood cells. And we know for a fact that these cells are responsible for keeping us healthy against diseases. Ergo, our immune systems benefit from each other through the mighty power of hugs.
3. Hugging is a meditative activity
As you count all the possible meditative ways before, you may likely have gone past the act of hugging. Surprisingly, hugs are akin to meditation. It keeps us grounded in the present moment.
Besides, hugs help you connect with your inner self, as you connect with another person. An especially gentle hug relaxes your body as well as your mind. It keeps you from thinking about anything that triggers stress. Instead, hugs teach you to be fully attentive and receptive.
4. It is beneficial for your nervous system
In connection, hugs are advantageous to your nervous system since anything meditative benefits this very system. The more you hug, the more balanced its state will be. How does this happen?
As two people hug, a reaction known as galvanic skin response happens. It affects the moisture and electricity in their skin. With this comes a positive difference in their skin conductance. The overall change indicates a good effect on the parasympathetic nervous system. You see, it’s like hitting not just two, but multiple birds with one stone.
5. Hugs promote self-esteem
There’s ample evidence that solidifies how hugs boost your self-esteem. We can track this back from your childhood or any significant period in your life. The feelings associated with the hugs you received from your parents, siblings, and friends are somehow entrenched in your nervous system.
Whether you’re conscious or not, you learn to recognize the meaning of such physical contact. When someone hugs you, you feel loved. When you feel loved, you feel valued. Mainly, hugs are important in reminding you of your self-worth.
6. Hugs are tension-reliever
When you’re stressed, your muscles are as well. But have you ever noticed how after getting a good hug from any of your trusted company, you feel like a load was taken off your back?
Well, adding up to the list of rewards hugs bring is the fact that it soothes your muscles. It’s almost similar to getting a good massage since it relieves the aches in your body. It improves circulation into the soft tissues. The only difference, however, is that hugs are cost-free!
7. It boosts your serotonin level
You might argue that 8 hugs a day are way too much. Perhaps, one or three is enough. But do you know why 8 is the yardstick? Because the higher number of hugs you receive in a day, the higher your serotonin level will be.
If your oxytocin levels deal with lifting your anxiety, anger, and loneliness, your serotonin levels, on the other hand, have something to do with your overall mood and happiness. Hugs are an effective ingredient for building happiness and enhancing your mood.
The length of your hug also completes the equation. When you hug for a long time, your serotonin levels will further heighten. Needless to say, hugs play a role in your well-being!
8. Hugs cultivate the value of give-and-take
Hugs remind us that everything is a two-way street. It encourages you to be more giving. By that same token, it encourages you to be more willing to receive as well. The need to get a hug is as organic as it can get. So is the need to share it. It’s the cheapest and at the same time, the most special gift one can offer and receive.
9. It nurtures good energy to your relationships
One more interesting benefit of hugs is that it builds camaraderie. It allows the people engaged in the activity to be entangled in feelings of positivity, understanding, support, and empathy.
In what way do you show your love? If you’re most people, hugs come as the most common means. It’s the bond that ties two people or more together. Hugs give off energy that naturally comes from the inside. You don’t just randomly hug somebody. You do it with an intention to show how valuable that person is. In other words, it’s an expressive way of fostering your relationship.
10. Hugs translate as trust and protection
Generous and gentle tactile sensations usually signify a sense of assurance. Such warm physical contact as a hug is a message of trust and confidence. Plus, it conveys a longing for open communication of emotions among people.
There, we’ve explained why we need a hug and how life-changing it can be. If you have a hard time voicing your love for another person, you can use hugs to express how you feel. Whatever the occasion, it’s always a good time to share one. But remember, make it a habit to reach at least 8 or even more! You’ll lose nothing yet surely gain a lot.