Humans often forget the importance of touch. One of the many human senses, touch doesn’t just allow us to feel things – it’s even more important than we know. For example, touch can convey an emotion non-verbally and show affection, comfort, support, empathy or sadness. Doesn’t it come naturally to hug someone when they share happy news or need support? Hugs are so much more than just contact – they represent chemistry and are even important for our overall health.
Recent studies have shown that hugs impact our overall wellbeing in a variety of ways for both the hug giver and receiver. If this doesn’t make you hug people you love more often, we don’t know what will.
How Hugs Improve Our Health
They Make Us Happier
Perhaps the biggest benefit of hugs is their ability to make us feel better and happier all of a sudden. Can you think of anything else than hugs that can make your day? In both happy and sad times, hugs are a thing we all need.
It’s more than just providing comfort – studies have revealed that being on the receiving end of hugs can boost our dopamine levels. Also known as the “happy hormone”, dopamine plays a variety of roles in our system. As a hormone that promotes feelings of happiness, having more of it in our body is definitely a good thing.
Aerobic exercise can also increase our dopamine production, but hugs can do it without breaking a sweat. It’s just better.
They Provide Comfort
We all grieve loss in different ways. The grieving process can hit a person hard on an emotional and even physical level. You know what helps with grief? Providing comfort in the form of hugs.
Even science has confirmed the emotional benefits of hugs. Words rarely provide the comfort level a hug can. Regardless of the intent, they can sometimes be counter-productive. Not hugs, though. You can offer them freely to anyone who’s grieving – it’s the best thing you can do.
Surprisingly, They Boost Our Immune System
Stress affects us negatively – apart from breaking us down emotionally, stress weakens our immune system and makes us more susceptible to disease. Giving birth to irrational fears, stress can disconnect us from reality. Luckily, hugs can alleviate all of it.
Studies have found that people on the receiving ends of hugs have a stronger immune system and are less prone to illnesses. These people also recuperate more quickly than others, meaning that hugs can definitely make us stronger.
They Quell Anxiety and Irrational Fears
A warm embrace is the best way to subdue fears and provide reassurance. Hugging someone who really needs a hug provides a feeling of safety words cannot describe. A warm hug will instantly mitigate fears and soothe the nervous system. It’s the thing anxious people need – it will subdue the feeling of low self-esteem and let them know they’re not alone.
As it turns out, hugs may very well be a basic human need. Words can’t describe their benefits and they’re easy to give. Regular tender physical contact can boost your health on many levels, so go on and give a hug to someone you love – it’s great for yours and theirs health as well.