I know everyone is busy trying to adjust to the fact that it’s a Tuesday and not a Monday (man, 3 days weekends are hard sometimes) and complaining about how Beyonce ruined their world by maybe lip-syncing at the inauguration last night, but I need to interrupt you with some very important news: hugging can save your life! Kind of.
Whether you’re getting a good squeeze from your bestie, your grandma, that adorable little baby cousin of yours or the dude you’re crushing on, I think we can all agree that hugging is awesome. It’s awesome because it feels good and it makes you smile, and it’s also awesome because it actually does a ton of stuff to your body that you probably didn’t know about. Okay, so actually, it’s technically not the actual hug that has these great benefits, it’s the hormone released when you hug someone.
Here’s what happens when you hug someone or someone hugs you: not only do you get that nice little lovey-dovey feeling that makes you smile even if you’re crying, but the hormone oxytocin is also released into your blood stream. Oxytocin helps reduce stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure and can also improve your memory. Researchers also said that if you give a lot of hugs throughout your life, you’ll become more empathetic over time. Basically, hugging makes you a better, more compassionate person. It also helps improve your relationships with basically everyone. So, yeah, it kind of saves your life.
But wait – don’t think this means you can just walk outside and start hugging everyone who walks by you. A, people are going to think you’re crazy and B, hugging doesn’t work like that, guys. Researchers were quick to point out that these positive effects only happen if you’re hugging people who trust and love you, not if you’re hugging randoms.
They went on to say that hugging people you’re not close to or you don’t know at all raises anxiety levels and actually makes you more stressed out, and I’m just like… yeah. Obviously. How would you feel if you got a hug from a complete stranger out of nowhere? You would probably feel like you didn’t know what in the world was going on.
So don’t do this…
But if you’re feeling lonely and bummed out and sad, go ahead and ask someone to hug you. Or just hug them. Obviously, you’ll feel much better in the end.
Do you give out a lot of hugs? How much do you love hugging? Who do you wish you could hug right now? Tell us in the comments.