Ever felt at home in someone’s arms? That sigh that you let out when warm arms engulf you is just a vocal evidence of that heavenly feeling. A picture may paint a thousand words but a hug must relate a lot more.
When you hug someone, it releases oxytocin also known as the cuddle hormones which makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. It is one of the unspoken ways to communicate one’s affection towards another. It relays the sense of protection and care for one another. That is why it is very necessary for couples to hug each other and for parents to hug their children.
Apart from the warm feeling one receives from hugs, it has other side benefits. Did you know more hugs equals lower blood pressure? When someone touches you, the sensation on your skin activates pressure receptors called Pacinian corpuscles, which then send signals to the vagus nerve, an area of the brain that is responsible for (among many things) lowering blood pressure, according to NPR.
Hugging also helps in reducing worry and alleviating fears. When one feels frightened or anxious about something, a hug can go a long way to calm someone’s nerves. Even the act of hugging a teddy bear helps soothe one’s fears. Interpersonal touch like a hug can be such a powerful mechanism that stimulates a sense of significance.
When people share a hug, it immediately reduces the amount of the stress hormone cortisol produced in the body. Hugs also help release the tension we feel in our bodies and send calming messages to the brain.
Do you want your child to feel loved? Give him or her a hug. Let it be one of those moments you share with your child on a regular basis. Because of modern busy life, you may not get the amount of time you wish to spend quality time with your kids but you can make an effort to hug them every chance you get. This gesture will make them feel belonged and loved.
So let’s not be stingy with our hugs especially with people we care about. Sometimes, hugs say more volumes than words during emotionally charged times. Share a hug in both happy and sad times and let’s help each other feel loved, what do you say?