Hugging – Revealed, what really goes on when we hug

What done regularly is great for our mental health, was a very restricted activity during lockdown, and has the opposite effect when done to strangers?

HUGGING of course 😊

If you’re a non-hugger or don’t like hugging, stay with me, I have news.

Did you know that almost every land based mammal on the planet hugs its own kind?

I had no idea and was surprised to hear it.

When children are hugged they feel warm and safe. Hugging someone is also an expression of trust and intimacy.

Something wonderful happens (certainly biologically) when we hug someone, we release the hormone oxytocin, which not only makes us feel good, it also reduces the analytical part of our brains. And when that happens, empathy, generosity and trust are heightened.

Apparently there’s research that shows people who hug (and cuddle) have lower blood pressure, a stronger immune system and better mental health.

By the way, you can get similar health benefits when stroking pets. I mentioned it in my blog before the last one, here’s the link if you’d like to read it again.

I’m aware we’re in a period where we have to be careful who we hug, and that some people who were happy to hug before the pandemic may have a different attitude towards hugging now.

I’m also aware there are some people who just don’t hug.

Personally, I am a hugger. The more the better. It was one of the things I missed (and needed) most during lockdown.

If you’re a non-hugger then I encourage to do it more often… just not on strangers, as I said, it’ll have completely the opposite effect 😊

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