COULD A HUG A DAY KEEP the doctor away?
In a study of over 400 adults, researchers found that hugging may reduce the chance a person will get sick. The participants with a greater support system were less likely to get sick. And those with the greater support system who did get sick had less severe symptoms than those with little or no support system.
We hug others when we’re excited, happy, sad, or trying to comfort. Hugging, it seems, is universally comforting. It makes us feel good. And it turns out that hugging is proven to make us healthier and happier.
According to scientists, the benefits of hugging go well beyond that warm feeling you get when you hold someone in your arms
Research shows that when people who live together had warm physical interactions, blood pressure was lower when asked to do a stressful task. In the same vein, additional literature shows that better relationship quality also correlates to lower blood pressure, furthering the idea that yes, it’s important to make efforts to keep our relationships thriving.
Yet another study shows that feeling supported by your partner generally keeps oxytocin levels — the “bonding” hormone that makes us feel less depressed and anxious — higher, better equipping us for life outside the home.