Hello my friends! I hope your fall is going well. I’ve got some good but stressful stuff going on around here. We are moving into our forever home this week and I’m exhausted from all the minutiae of moving. It will all be worth it though when we are safely tucked into our new home but now- whew, it’s crazy!
So this will be a quick post, but it’s still super important because I’m going to tell you a really easy way to live longer (and happier). Are you ready for this? It’s by giving (and receiving) hugs. This is appropriate for me right now because due to the stress of moving I’ve needed lots of hugs. My mama is on her way to me right now, and I’m sure I will get some good ones once she gets here! My significant other will be relieved that he’s off duty for a while.
Now, you may say, “Are you serious about this? How can a hug help me live longer?” I’m going to tell you all about it right now. First, when we hug someone for 20 seconds oxytocin, known as the love hormone, is released. It gives us that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. it is a neuropeptide, which promotes feelings of devotion, trust and bonding, and lays the biological foundation and structure for connecting to other people.
Also, hormones released in the body after a hug help your physical health by lowering blood pressure among many other things. Hugs reduce worries and fears, including fear of mortality or dying. Even brief physical touch helps people deal with their concerns.
Your heart benefits from a hug too. In a study done by the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, people who didn’t have anyone to hug had an increased heart rate compared to those who had someone to hug.
As we age, hugs become even more important because loneliness, particularly as we age, can increase stress and have adverse health effects. Hugging decreases feelings of loneliness.
Hugs are particularly effective stress relievers. When we hug we reduce the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in our bodies immediately. Hugs also help release tension and send calming messages to our brains.
If you’re feeling stressed, hug a baby. It will be good for you as I communicated above, but it will also benefit the baby. An Emory University study in rats found a link between touch and relieving stress, particularly in the early stages of life. The researchers concluded the same applies to humans and their development.
In conclusion, hugging is good for us in many different ways, for our hearts, blood pressure, and stress levels. Hugs are super for seniors and babies, and everyone in between, so all ages can benefit from hugging. It’s free and easy to do too so why not try to give and receive more hugs? Hugging can help you live a life of vitality- with Valerie!