Hugs are good for you!
In addition to increasing the levels of Oxytocin, a bonding hormone, hugs were proven to reduce blood pressure, cutting the risk of heart disease. The hugs also lowered the blood levels of Cortisol, the hormone which helps our bodies deal with stress. Elevated Cortisol levels interfere with memory and learning, cause lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.
Chronic stress and elevated Cortisol levels also increase risk for depression, mental illness, and lower life expectancy.
An increase in Oxytocin levels have been shown to induce feelings of optimism, increase self-esteem and build trust. Oxytocin is being used to help treat debilitating shyness, lower social anxieties and mood disorders and is thought to be helpful in treating people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders.
By lowering the levels of cortisol and increasing the amount of oxytocin, hugs provide a health cocktail whose benefits outweigh any other health routine. They increase our sense of well-being which in turn boosts the immune system and allows people to feel more fulfilled in life.
But to receive the most benefit from a hug, the hug has to last at least 20 seconds.
Hugs are the best natural drug on the market, hug someone today!