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Ten curiosities about hugs

by Uneeb Khan

The hug is a very healthy social custom, which also benefits our health and mood. 

How often do you hug someone? How long is that hug? What do you feel when you hug? Are all hugs the same?

Obviously, everyone will have a different answer to these questions. But what is clear is that the hug fulfills a social function for all of us. We hug to show affection towards someone. Beyond conventionalism, each hug has a meaning in itself, and numerous studies show that hugging provides security and makes us feel good, which has benefits on our mood.

We tell you all this precisely today, January 21, when International Hugs Day is celebrated, an event that began to be celebrated 34 years ago and that reminds us of the importance of maintaining this healthy social custom that the coronavirus pandemic has forced us to postpone And, as we know that you are probably already wanting to hug or be hugged, we are going to tell you ten curiosities about hugs that you may not have known.

A powerful anti-stress

It helps reduce stress and prevent some diseases. Scientific studies, such as that of the American Carnegie Mellon University, have shown that hugs are a balm against chronic stress, which weakens the immune system.

They release oxytocin

Hugs comfort us because, thanks to them, we release oxytocin, the hormone that reduces pain. That’s why a hug makes us feel better. Different experiments discovered that a 5-second hug stimulates the release of oxytocin and that a 20-second hug activates it, equivalent to a month of therapy.

They release dopamine

The hug releases dopamine, another hormone, in this case, linked to “feeling good,” and that, in addition, improves memory, attention, sleep, and behavior motivated by rewards.

They help us relax our muscles.

It not only improves our emotional state but also affects our physical well-being. Just like a massage, hugs help us relax our muscles and recharge with optimism, which is good for our body and mind.

Contributes to the neural development of babies

Hugs help babies in their development. According to a study from Duke University, hugs are decisive for neuronal development in the first years of life.

How long does a hug last?

According to a study by researchers at the University of Dundee School of Psychology, the average hug lasts about three seconds.

How many hugs do we need a day?

“We need four hugs a day to survive, eight hugs to sustain us, and twelve hugs to grow.” This is what the famous American psychologist Virginia Satir defends in order to enjoy good health.

How many types of hugs are there?

There are eight types of hugs, according to psychology. The classic or crossed hug is the most common and the one that, well-practiced, gives us the most physically and psychologically.

They encourage the sense of touch.

Without a doubt, our most forgotten sense is touch. However, it is the most linked to our sensitivity and perception of feelings. Well, it turns out that hugs promote the sense of touch. According to psychologists, it helps us focus on the present moment, on the here and now.

They increase self-esteem

The hug is a potent anxiolytic, increases self-esteem, and strengthens relationships. In short, it only brings good things to our physical and mental state. Which, in and of itself, is mortgage healthy.

Now you know the benefits of hugs. So let’s hug more. It is a gift to ourselves and others. Who would you like to hug when this is all over when Covid-19 is a bad memory?

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