4 Health Benefits of Hugs and Why They Feel Good

For many, what most people miss during the pandemic is being able to hug a loved one. In fact, it wasn’t until we lost the ability to hug friends and family that many people came to realize just how important touch is to many aspects of their health. including our mental health.

But now that vaccine programs are out and restrictions are starting to be relaxed in many parts of the UK, many will want to embrace it again. The good news is that hugs not only feel good, but they also have many health benefits.

The reason hugging feels so good has to do with how we feel. It is a very important sense that allows us not only to physically explore the world around us but also to communicate with others by creating and creating. Maintaining social bonds.

Touch consists of two distinct systems. The first is “quick-touch”, a nervous system that can quickly detect touch (for example, when a fly lands on its nose or touches something hot). The second system is “slow touch”. This is a recently discovered neural group. c-tactile afferents, which process the emotional meaning of touch.

These c-tactile afferents have essentially evolved into “squid nerves” and are usually activated by very specific kinds of stimuli. A typical kind of gentle skin temperature contact, hugging, or caressing. c-tactile afferents are considered as neural input steps that signal rewarding and pleasurable aspects of social tactile interactions such as hugs and touches.

Touch is the first sensation in the womb that starts working (around 14 weeks). A mother’s gentle caress from the moment we are born has several health benefits, including lowering your heart rate Stimulating growth Connecting brain cells.

When someone hugs us, c-tactile afferent impulses in the skin send signals through the spinal cord to the brain’s emotional processing network. This induces a series of neurochemical signals that have demonstrated health benefits. Some neurochemicals include hormones. Oxytocin, which plays an important role in social bonding, slows the heart rate and reduces stress and anxiety levels. Release endorphins in the brain’s reward pathways to support immediate pleasure and feelings of well-being from a hug or caress.

Hugs are relaxing and soothing enough to benefit our health in other ways as well. Here are 4 Health Benefits of Hugs.

Improves sleep. From the benefits of co-sleeping cuddling your partner with an infant, soft touch is known to regulate sleep because it lowers levels of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is a key regulator of the sleep-wake cycle but increases with stress. So it’s no surprise that high levels of stress can delay sleep and cause schizophrenia. sleep patterns or insomnia.

Reduces responsiveness to stress. In addition to the immediate soothing and pleasurable feeling that hugging provides, the social contact has long-term benefits for our health, making us less responsive to stress and building resilience.

Increasing tactility during early development leads to higher levels of oxytocin receptors in brain regions and lower levels of cortisol. emotion regulation. Infants who receive high levels of parenting contacts grow up to be less responsive to stressors and have low levels of anxiety.

Increases well-being and enjoyment: Social contact throughout life binds us together and sustains our relationships. As mentioned, this is because it releases endorphins that make hugging and touching rewarding. Touch supports our physical and emotional well-being by providing the “glue” that holds us together.

And when touch is needed, the benefit is shared by two people on the exchange. In fact, petting your pet can be beneficial to your health and well-being. In both cases, oxytocin levels increase. pets and owners.

It can help fight infections. By regulating hormones including oxytocin and cortisol, touching and hugging can also affect your body’s immune response. High levels of stress and anxiety fight infection, and close, supportive relationships are beneficial for health and well-being.

Studies show that cuddling in bed protects us from colds. By monitoring the frequency of hugging among more than 400 adults exposed to the common cold virus, the researchers took their hand in that “huggers” were less likely to catch a cold. And even then, the symptoms were less severe.

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