Hugs have an amazing capacity to:
- bring peace
- soothe the soul
- ease tension and heal an argument
- infuse your life with love
- reduces cravings for sugar, sweets
- heal the human body, mind, and soul!
What exactly do hugs do that is so amazing?
Hugs promote the release of oxytocin, the love hormone. Oxytocin is the hormone that is releases when women give birth, when we nurse our infants, when we have loving sexual encounters, and at other happy times. When your body releases oxytocin the hormone has a calming, peaceful effect on your body because cortisol (think stress hormone) levels go down! This reduces stress and increases feelings of well-being in your world!
Lowering your stress levels through oxytocin and low cortisol levels helps to reduce blood pressure, boosts your immune function, dopamine levels go up (pleasure hormone), and serotonin levels rise (happy, feel good hormone). There is literally a ripple effect of health and mood enhancing biochemical effects that happen when we hug.
I once heard a natural healer compare the body's biochemical reaction to hugs like the reaction to the chemical cocktail ecstasy (a pleasure inducing street drug).
Seems to me that giving and receiving hugs is so much easier, no bad side effects, and readily available. Maybe we should start selling hugs on street corners! Just a thought.
Action to take:
- Get Hugging! It is good for your health and, if you need another reason, all the above health benefits of hugs help your body balance your weight. Give hugs, lose extra body weight!
- Get a massage. Human, healing touch releases oxytocin.
- Pat a friend on the back... oxytocin is released!
- Love up your pets. Pets like hugs too and you both benefit!
- Hug a tree!
Tell me your hug stories in the comments below.