Hugging is a very comforting and communicative type of gesture. It’s the best way to express your emotions nonverbally to another person. Not only you make them feel valued and loved, but your initiative motivates them to pass on that love and care to others.
5. Boosts your self-esteem
One of the most surprising benefits of hugging is a rise in self-esteem, especially in children. Infants recognise their parents with their loving touch and this tactile sense is embedded in their cellular system and nervous system. And hugs remind them that at a somatic level. Hugs also trigger the ability to self-love.
Scientists showed that people with low self-esteem can reduce their fears and anxiety with hugs. Because touch keeps people from isolating themselves when reminded of their mortality. Give and receive more hugs, it will reduce your fears about existence.
6. Makes you happier
Hugs stimulate our brains to release dopamine, known as the happy hormone. It makes us feel good, relaxed, confident and keeps us motivated in life. Dopamine is associated with happiness, less stress and anxiety.
This hormone is present in high amount in people having harmonious family relationships and those who get more frequent hugs with their romantic partner. Low dopamine levels increase the risk of depression and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease.
Other hormones that make you happier are endorphins and serotonin and both are rleased when reaching out and hugging your loved ones. These hormones are associated with creating happiness and pleasure-seeking behaviour. Besides elevating mood, they help you negate pain and sadness. That’s how hugging naturally works as antidepressants to make you happier.
7. Balance out the nervous system
When we are highly stressed our sympathetic nervous system gets activated and to balance this activity we need a parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, recovery and digestion.
Our skin contains Pacinian corpuscles, that help us lower blood pressure, they can also sense touch. These pressure centres are connected to our brain through the vagus nerve. Each time you hug someone, these pressure sensors on our skin activate our parasympathetic nervous system. Hence, hugs help us restore energy and shift into a more balanced state.
A hug is the best gift to give and receive and its free of cost! Because few seconds of hug makes you feel so relaxed, loved, rejuvenated, and motivated. It’s the best natural antidepressant that too without any side effects. You need to hug every day!
As per psychotherapist Virginia Satir, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”
Now, these numbers may or may not have been scientifically proven, but there is a great deal of research evidence on physical and mental health benefits of hugging
The digital world has bought us too close to screen touch and took us far from human touch. For those who are not tech-savvy, whether you seek solitude or rate race, both take you far away from social interaction. I think the world needs more human touch and nothing can beat the benefits of hugging. Hug more, enjoy the whole host of benefits associated with hugging and live happily.