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Why we need to hug our loved ones more often – scientists are positive

Why we need to hug our loved ones more often – scientists are positive

A loving touch isn’t just pleasant, it’s also very healthy. It’s the perfect medicine for both physical and mental complaints, and makes you feel good. Scientific advice: make time for hugging!

It reduces stress and gives you a peaceful and relaxed feeling. It works like a painkiller and advances healing processes and growth. Increase your ability to learn. Helps your digestion. Makes you more social, more friendly, less aggressive. More loving. More peaceful. Besides, it has no negative side-effects and is 100 percent natural.

But the best thing is the hormone named oxytocine is available for everyone, for free. Day and night. All we have to do is touch each other in a loving manner. Simple as that.

This is how it works

The more often and the more intensely we hug and caress each other, the more powerful the effects and the longer they last. Pleasant skin to skin contact puts your oxytocine factory to work. While your arm is caressed or your back is being massaged, millions of nerve ends in the skin tell your brain: time to start producing!

Through an ingenious system, this miracle stuff gets into your blood. Blood pressure and heart beat go slower, the stress hormone in your body decreases drastically. A big, content smile is likely to appear on your face.

No time to relax?

Oxytocine, the royal supplier of rest and togetherness, is literally within arms reach. Still, in our hectic western society, we don’t make maximal use of its services, Kerstin Moberg concludes in her book ‘The oxytocine factor’. We are all so busy. We go from here to there, have to perform and produce and desperately try to tick all the boxes on our endless to do lists. We’re all about stress hormones.

Why hugging is a necessity of life

In our diaries, it never says: ’11.00, give big hug to best friend’. Or: ‘8.30 – 8.45, give partner huge kiss’. That’s while touching is a necessity of life. According to some scientists, physical contact is just as important as food.

Without warm physical contact, we risk becoming cold inside. Babies that don’t get hugged a lot, evolve less quickly. It is as if they lack a battery that charges them. They don’t grow as quickly, have trouble learning, get ill more often and when they grow up, they are less empathetic.

Hugs are an antidote to stress

The less time and energy we have for rest and intimacy, the less oxytocine we produce. While our body is longing to relax, we deny ourselves a portion of ‘natural healing nectar’, as Kerstin Moberg calls the hugging hormone. ‘It’s an antidote to the negative effects of our hasty way of life.’

So: embrace more often, caress more intensely and make sure you are touched. Especially when you don’t have the time. The oxytocine boost will come, guaranteed.

Photo: Priscilla DuPreez

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