Do you hug your family and friends everyday? If not, it may be time to start. Studies show hugging is beneficial for your physical and mental health by boosting your immune system and decreasing feelings of depression and loneliness.
This week’s #bebetter52 challenge: Give at least one good hug each day. You can hug your kids, your spouse, your friends or anyone you feel comfortable embracing. Try practicing long hugs that last at least a second or two instead of quick, casual hugs. This week is about holding those you love close and experiencing the benefits hugs can bring.
Studies prove engaging in a hug releases the hormone oxytocin that decreases feelings of loneliness and depression by enhancing one’s feeling of attachment in a relationship. It increases feelings of joy and closeness with others that can improve a person’s self-esteem and build trust. The release of oxytocin is also found to relieve stress and boost the immune system. In addition, the people who received more hugs were less likely to catch a cold. Similar to laughter, hugs are proven to positively influence a person’s mood and behavior.