Who doesn’t like a hug? From toddlers to great aunts, there’s a reason people are always trying to pull those they love into a tight embrace. It’s not just because it feels good, which it does, but because it’s good for you too! That’s why Dr. Nandi is encouraging you to become your own health hero, so reach out and hug someone today.
Here are some of the health benefits you can expect to experience from hugging.
Lowers Blood Pressure
According to a study completed at the University of North Carolina, hugging drastically improves your blood pressure. It not only makes it drop immediately post-hug, but for those who regularly hug the people they love, the improvement can be more permanent. It’s so significant that the blood pressure drop is similar to that achieved by prescription medication. As an added bonus, hugging also reduces heart rate, putting you at less of a risk of cardiovascular issues.
Hugging does more than improve your blood pressure, it also boosts your immune system. Because it stimulates the thymus gland, which is in charge of regulating your white blood cells, those who hug fight off infections better. These people tend to overall be healthier and more disease-free than those who keep people at arm’s length.
Whether it’s due to the oxytocin or the body closeness, hugging improves your relationships with people. By building trust, you’re creating a sense of security and boosting your self-esteem and self-worth. Hugging also improves people’s communication and tends to make them get along better. After all, it’s hard to be mad at someone who gives really good hugs.
Helps You Relax
Hugging helps you let go of your daily stress and become more relaxed. Physically, it relaxes your muscles and releases tension in your neck and shoulders. Mentally, it gives you peace and is like taking a big, deep breath for your well-being.
If you’re looking to do something easy to improve your health, Dr. Nandi says to grab the person next to you and give them a hug. It not only improves your day and health, but it helps theirs as well.
- While hugging someone you love has its own rewards, you don’t have to be close to the person you’re hugging to reap the health benefits
- Hugging increases serotonin, a neurotransmitter often associated with feelings of happiness and well-being
- All hugs make you feel better and improve your health, but if you can get them to last at least 30 seconds, you’ll experience a surge of hormones and a boost to your hugging health benefits
- The roots of self-esteem are rooted in tactile sensations from infancy, so hugging and touching drastically improve them
- Hugging puts you in the moment, allows you to let go of stress, and be present and mindful