When was the last time you hugged or shook someone’s hand? The coronavirus pandemic has changed how we interact with those we love, and simple gestures like hugs have been limited.
Although there are strict safety practices to which we need to adhere, like social distancing, the changes are not permanent. The rules are here to help with minimizing the spread of coronavirus. However, as soon as it’s safe, we should all return to shaking hands and hugging. Research shows that hugging has numerous social, biological, and emotional benefits.
In this article, we will provide information on when to seek help from online therapy.
Benefits of Hugs for Mental and Physical Health
Physical touch is one of the love languages. And hugs and kisses allow us to interact with the world around us physically, show affection and create social bonds.
Here are some reasons why we should all be hugging often.
Hugging Eases Stress
One of the benefits of hugging is that it can reduce stress. Life these days can be overwhelming, and we all need coping mechanisms.
If you feel overwhelmed or frustrated, hugging someone can help you cope and overcome a stressful situation. When you hug someone, your body releases the hormone oxytocin, which has calming effects. It also helps lower one’s blood pressure and reduces the stress hormone cortisol.
Hugging Promotes Bonding in Relationships
Another benefit of hugging is that it can improve the quality of relationships. It can strengthen bonds between couples. Oxytocin, which is also referred to as the love hormone, helps with creating bonds. Frequent hugs generate feelings of familiarity and love.
Children who aren’t hugged or feel detached regularly can face emotional challenges relating to growth and development later in life.
Hugging Is Good for Your Heart
Hugging is beneficial for cardiovascular health. By reducing stress levels and lowering blood pressure, hugs can be good for the health of your heart.
Hugs and a feeling of being emotionally close to those you love can considerably lower the negative impacts of stressful factors on your body.
Hugging Improves Sleep Quality
One of the essential things for good mental and physical health is adequate sleep. However, the challenges we face daily can lead to poor sleep hygiene, with most people finding it hard to fall asleep. Cuddling with your partner has been shown to regulate sleep.
Hugging lowers the level of cortisol, which is a hormone that impacts our sleep-wake cycles. It increases when someone is stressed, leading to difficulty falling asleep. This explains why high-stress levels result in insomnia or other sleep problems.
Hugging Can Improve Your Mental Well-Being
We are facing more challenges than ever, some of which relate to the coronavirus pandemic. Many studies recommend hugging and physical touch to minimize negative emotions.
People who experience distress can benefit from hugs. Thus we feel better and experience improvements in mood. Overall, frequent physical touch with our loved ones is linked to improved mental health over time.
Hugging Communicates Feelings
There are many different ways to tell those we love how we feel. Touch is one such mechanism. According to research, most people prefer non-verbal communication when it comes to showing affection.
People can convey tons of information just through physical touch. Through touch, you can communicate emotions like anger, sadness, fear, happiness, gratitude, sympathy, disgust, etc.
Hugging Is a Mood Booster
Another benefit of hugging is that it can boost your mood. Affectionate physical touch releases “feel-good” hormones — oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine — that can be helpful when someone is in a bad mood.
Hugging Helps to Resolve Conflicts in Relationships
A simple hug can “diffuse” an argument in a couple. If you have some problems in your relationship, frequent hugs may help. Couples who hug on the same day as a conflict resolve the issue more effectively.
Hugs, in this sense, buffer the negative effects of getting into arguments. This allows couples to experience positive emotions even during challenging times and just keep relationships healthy.
Hugging Is Good for Your Immune System
Another benefit of hugging is that it can boost a person’s immune system. When you are happy, you release high levels of oxytocin and serotonin, which have also been linked to the improved immune system.
We hug people we care for because they make us happy. We feel excited and safe when with them. And physical touch can help with reducing stress and coping with depressive thoughts, which have been shown to weaken the immune system.
Feeling Frustrated? Here’s How to Get Help
Although it is important to continue protecting ourselves during the coronavirus pandemic, it is equally crucial that we don’t give up on hugs.
Isolation and loneliness increase the incidence of mental health problems. And coronavirus has drastically changed how people show and receive affection. However, we should still find ways to remain emotionally connected to those we love.
If you feel overwhelmed, stressed, depressed, sad, experience relationship issues, or just need someone to talk with, consider engaging a therapist. Thanks to teletherapy platforms like Calmerry, finding licensed therapists is now easier than ever before. You don’t need to leave your office or home — you can start improving your mental health just today.