I love hugs. Not with just anyone – I’m way too Swedish for that – as a rule of thumb, I absolutely hate to have my personal space invaded. However, hugs with loved ones are absolutely essential. I need them, and now there is evidence related to the benefits of hugging. Just to say, I always thought that hugging was extremely beneficial, and now I know that I was right!
There was a study done at the University of North Carolina with couples. After hugging, the levels of oxytocin were elevated in both the man and woman, but there was an added benefit for woman. They were found to have had higher levels of reduced blood pressure than their male counterparts. Oxytocin is a hormone that has also been called the cuddle, or love hormone; also known as the bonding hormone. The women were also found to have reduced levels of cortisol, also. Cortisol is a stress hormone, so having a lower level of it is a huge benefit. I’ve left some links if you would like to read the articles.
When my kids were little, the Snuggle Bear was going to be visiting the local Sam’s Club. My kids absolutely loved the Snuggle Bear, the commercials were so cute. I didn’t tell them, but of course I took them. Once they got a look at who was there, their faces were absolutely priceless! They were so excited and thrilled. The hugs that the Snuggle Bear gave my kids is up there with one of their favorite childhood memories. I got a hug, too, by the way. So don’t forget to hug your loved ones! It’s free, it’s wonderful and it’s healthy!