Let’s face it: Nothing is more comfortable than a warm hug. Hugging your loved ones have a certain way of making us feel warm and fuzzy inside but besides making us feel awesome, it does benefit our bodies as proven by science. So, here are 5 scientific reasons why we should hug our loved ones daily.
1) Lowers blood pressure
According to a research done by NPR, when you hug your loved ones, the sensation on your skin activates pressure receptors called Pacinian corpuscles, which send signals to the vagus nerve, which is an area of your brain that helps to lower blood pressure.
2) It stimulates oxytocins
For those that do not know what oxytocins are, it is a neurotransmitter that acts on the limbic system, which is the brain’s emotional centre, hence promoting feelings of contentment, as well as reducing anxiety and stress. It also helps against heart disease. When we hug our loved ones, oxytocin is released into our bodies, thus lowering both our heart rates and our cortisol levels, which is the hormone responsible for stress, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
3) It alleviates our fears
According to a study in Pyschological Science, hugging your loved ones helps soothe your existential fears and make you feel safe as you are in the arms of someone you love and you know that he/she loves you back. In addition, other than soothing our fears and making us feel safe and comfortable, it also encourages empathy and understanding between you and your loved ones.
4) Strengthen the immune system
According to scientific research, hugs create a gentle pressure on the sternum, which activates the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells, thus keep you healthy and disease free, as well as strengthening our immune system.
5) Stimulates Dopamine
Dopamine is the chemical responsible for giving us that feel-good feeling and motivation. We should not have low dopamine levels as low dopamine levels play a role in the neurodegenerative disease known as Parkinson’s as well as mood disorders such as depression. And by hugging, your brain will release significant amounts of dopamine, which helps you to feel good, get motivated and lower the risk of depression or even Parkinson’s disease.