It’s difficult to imagine a more readily available, cheaper, and more effective cure for negative energy than a hug—and scientific research on hugging backs this up. Here follows a list of 12 reasons, in much finer detail.
#1: It enhances morale.
A hug can completely change our outlook on a situation, and, sometimes, our entire outlook on life. What’s more, hugging is beneficial for both of the parties involved, as it creates psychological bonds between both individuals.
#2: It relieves pain.
Hugging causes the brain to secrete oxytocin, which alleviates the sensation of pain. Moreover, it also alleviates pain related to negative thoughts about life (or about experiences in life), so there really are many overall mental, emotional, and physical benefits to hugging.
#3: It lowers blood pressure.
This is further proof of truly physical benefits of hugging; skin receptors and certain nerves send signals to the brain which trigger feelings of safety and wellness, which in turn relaxes muscles and veins and lowers blood pressure.
#4: It’s heart-healthy.
Research from the NC University indicates that people who come into contact with their loved ones less experience an increase in the total number of times their hearts beat. Conversely, individuals who hugged their loved ones frequently experienced 50% the number of heart beats, more relaxed hearts, and they were more likely to go on to live longer and happier lives.
#5: It increases self-esteem and reduces fear.
The best example of this probably pertains to children; they instinctively associate protection and escape with hugging, but in reality, the instincts stay with us forever because the benefits are so essential and genuine.
#6: It helps kids grow effectively.
Hugs aid in the growth, health, and happiness of babies, and it has also been shown that most emotionally stable adults began life as emotionally supported (and hugged) toddlers.
#7: It comforts the aged.
Hugging is pretty much the opposite of being isolated and lonely—things which are sometimes perceived as “diseases” by elders. In fact, hugging can even prevent early death in some cases.
#8: It relaxes the nerves.
Hugging makes the nervous system function for more effectively; it actually conducts small charges of electricity which induce relaxation. Or, in other words, it just eases the tension.
#9: It speaks volumes.
“I have learned that there is more power in a good strong hug than in a thousand meaningful words.”—Ann Hood
#10: It’s a wonder drug.
“When I come home, my daughter will run to the door and give me a big hug, and everything that’s happened that day just melts away.”—Hugh Jackman
#11: It’s even better than laughing.
“Laughing together is as close as you can get to a hug without touching.”—Gina Barreca
#12: It’s relatively sanitary.
“Honestly, I’d rather hug than shake hands. I don’t know where those hands have been!”—Whitney Wolfe
*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here.