We do it every day. Our entire life. But why do we hug other people? Like psychotherapist Virginia Satir said before:
“We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”
A simple hug is responsible to produce the “love hormone” oxytocin, which is beneficial for stress levels, heart health, and more. It is released by your pituitary gland and can help to boost your emotional and physical health.
Here are 7 facts about hugging and their impacts to your body and life you maybe didn’t know before.
1. You spend 1 hour a month hugging
First, that sounds not very long and not very much. But if you consider that an average hug is under 10 seconds, 1 hours a month sounds a lot!
(We’ve done the math: It’s 360 hugs/month!)
2. A 20-second hug is able to reduce harmful physical effects of stress, including its impact on your blood pressure and heart rate
“the skin contains a network of tiny, egg-shaped pressure centers called Pacinian corpuscles that can sense touch and which are in contact with the brain through the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve winds its way through the body and is connected to a number of organs, including the heart.“
3. Even a 10-second hug can improve your health
Results of the study ‘Meanings of hugging‘ from Lena Forsell and Jan Åström identified several impacts a 10-second hug can have to your health:
Lower risk of heart disease
Boost your immune system
Hugging can be more powerful than you think
4. Children who aren’t hugged have delays in walking, talking, and reading
A quick hug is enough to boost the mood of your child. As a result, it is more willing to learn something new. Very good reason to hug your child more often.
5. Cuddling makes you feel sexy
Instead of simple hugging, you also should cuddle with your partner. It will release dopamine, a hormone which can increase your sexual desire.
6. A hug improves your communication
David Klow, a marriage and family therapist is sure about the impact a hug has between couples who have communication issues:
“Most people want to feel understood, and communication is the vehicle by which they transmit understanding and empathy. Non-verbal communication can be a very powerful way to say to your partner, ‘I get you,’. Cuddling is a way of saying, ‘I know how you feel.’ It allows us to feel known by our partner in ways that words can’t convey.”
7. A hug can make this world a better place
In times of war, violence and discrimination, a lot of hugs are needed to help people all over the world and to reduce sadness, fear and desperation. Just think about the conflicts between Ukraine & Russia or Muslim & Jews. But a hug can also stand for “Hey, I forgive you. Let’s start from scratch.” Or just hug someone, because you like him or her – even if it’s a stranger like in the clip above.
A hug can mean so many things and we hope you continue it your entire life with the people you love. Maybe you’re open now to hug more people to spread a peaceful environment. We think: The world needs definitely more hugs – even if it’s virtual. What about you?
Click on the following picture to give a virtual hug between black & white people, Islam & Christendom, Ukraine & Russia and much more: