Let science explain why hugging creates physiological effects like drugs
When was the last time you hugged someone tight and long enough to make you feel high with happiness? Well, if you think you have been feeling all low on life, and are highly stressed out because of any x y z reason, then we encourage you to immediately embrace someone right now. Apart from the feeling of being emotionally and socially accepted, you will feel a surge of positivity because a lot of feel-good hormones will be released into your body which will liberate you from the all the negative clutches of depression and stress. The benefits of hugging don’t just stop here; you will be blessed with many more health advantages from this simple act of affection. Let us see some full-proof scientific reasons which will want to make you hug more often.
1 Releases the ‘Love Hormone’
When you hug someone, your brain gets emotionally induced from the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain. A hormone called oxytocin, also known as the ‘love hormone,’ is released which has the power to make you feel contented and relieved; it also reduces your stress levels. This is the hormone which just makes you want to snuggle up more closely with your partner and we should probably thank this hormone for our existence. Oxytocin is released during childbirth and makes our mothers love us beyond limits even when she had to endure that terrible pain to bring us out. See how powerful this hormone is? So why not tap the power of those love droplets in your body, and to be able to do that you will just have to hug someone. So simple, isn’t it?
2 Helps in combating fears of mortality
While nobody is immortal, hugging can surely help us in combating the fear of mortality. In fact, in a study published in the Psychological Science Journal, it has been said that hugs and touch can greatly help in reducing the existential fears. So much so, that even cuddling with an animal or even an inanimate object like a teddy bear can also help you stay away from that fear. You feel connected and grounded and for those moments, that bond is only what matters the most.
3 Releases the ‘Pleasure Hormone’
Dopamine, also known as the ‘pleasure hormone,’ is a great motivational booster. Low levels of dopamine leads to self-doubt, anxiety, procrastination, mood disorders, and even a neurodegenerative disease known as Parkinson’s. Scary, right? Well, not for you if you have been hugging your loved ones. The simple act of hugging helps in balancing the dopamine levels in the body and gives us those feel-good happy moments. In fact, it is the dopamine sensors which are stimulated by drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine. So when you can get your doses of dopamine through hugging, why go the wrong way?
4 Elevates mood through the release of serotonin
When you feel all lonely and depressed in life, it is a clear sign that your serotonin levels have reached an all-time low. Get those levels up by hugging your loved ones. Embracing someone for a longer duration will release serotonin which will in turn give a surge of happiness to your mind and body, elevating your mood. Serotonin makes us feel important and significant, and this will also be a self-esteem booster.
5 Balances the nervous system
Our skin has a network of pressure centres known as Pacinian corpuscles which are capable of sensing touch and are connected to the brain through a nerve. When you hug someone, there occurs a change in the skin conductance leading to a better and balanced parasympathetic nervous system.
6 Relaxes Muscles
The built up tension in our muscles can be relaxed through hugging. The brain tells the body to relax due to the release of all those feel-good hormones; this helps in the relaxation of the muscles. Hugs can even ease away the pain of aches by increasing circulation to the soft tissues.
7 Lowers blood pressure and heart rate
If you have been getting frequent hugs from your partner, then you have good levels of oxytocin and other feel-good hormones which help in lowering the blood pressure. And when your heart does not need to add up pressure to give more oxygen to your system, you will have a good and relaxed heart rate. All these will definitely lead to a better heart health, and with what — just a hug.
8 Meditative power
A relaxing embrace has the power to soothe your mind, body, and soul. The fine and deep breathing associated with meditation can be achieved through a soothing hug and this can help you attain a peaceful state of mind.
9 Nurturing Ability
Babies who grow up within a cuddly environment turn into less stressed adults. A hug nurtures babies into being totally loved and supported, and they grow up to be more confident and happy adults. So hug your babies as often as you can; it’s going to be a miracle drug for you and for your darling babies.
10 Stronger Immune System
All the feel-good hormones work as great immune-regulatory mechanisms. All our bodily systems work perfectly in a relaxed environment and hugs make us handle the physical and social pressures much more peacefully. All these have a direct impact on your immune system, which works wonderfully in the absence of stress.
Now you see how a hug can do wonders, much more efficiently than any drug out there. And the best thing is that it’s free; what else would you need? So, get up and have this miracle drug by hugging somebody next to you. Enjoy your HUG DRUG!