During lockdown, a hug is something that we all have missed so much. It’s been a really difficult year for so many and for some it’s been very isolating.
With us being able to expand our 'bubbles' over the festive period, try grabbing a BIG hug from your nearest and dearest if you can. Because, let's be honest, we all need it!
According to studies, hugging can help reduce the chances of a person getting sick. How ironic as we haven’t been able to go near anyone for nearly a year!
It can also have profound effects on reducing your blood pressure, so being in an affectionate relationship is actually GOOD for your heart.
When we get a hug, our body also releases copious amounts of Oxytocin and, when these levels rise, we feel happier and less stressed. Self-esteem can also be boosted, along with reducing anxiety.
A hug has also been proven to scientifically reduce fear. Even the act of a cuddle with a teddy bear – can help reduce feelings of uncertainty.
Hugging has even been reported to reduce pain and inflammation.
So, how many hugs should you have a day to feel these health benefits? The answer is…we should have as many as possible if we want to reap the greatest positive results!
Living a solitary or busy life with reduced social interaction and touching has a huge negative impact on all our lives.
Even if you are only with one or two people in your bubble this Christmas - make sure you have plenty of hugs. Even if only brief, it can make you feel better about yourself, reduce your stress and improve communication and feelings of happiness.