We really didn’t need another reason to love our favourite X-man and Aussie legend Hugh Jackman any more that we already do, but we got a super-sized dose of the feel-goods when we read this quote from him: “When I come home, my daughter will run to the door and give me a big hug, and everything that's happened that day just melts away”.
There’s no doubt that a big hug makes us feel better and numerous studies have shown that hugging is important to our immune system, heart health, and our overall well-being. Here are 8 reasons why we all need to make sure we get that daily dose of hugs.
1. Hugging helps boost your immune system
The Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA, published a study proving the relationship between hugging and the immune system. Their researchers discovered that people who often experience hugging are less likely to get sick, and even if they do, the symptoms are less severe. This study was specific to illnesses that are often associated with stress and high cortisol levels. Cortisol is the body’s main stress hormone that manages our digestion, blood sugar, blood pressure, hunger cravings, digestion, physical activities, sleeping and waking patterns, and our capacity to cope with stress.
2. Hugging is important for your emotional well-being
Hugging is a form of nonverbal communication that helps you express your feelings without using any words. Thought by many to be the first sense to develop, touch plays a crucial role in nearly all of our sensory experiences. When we hug, or someone hugs us, it’s a physical interaction that involves touching, which can express a lot about our emotions.
3. Hugging enhances your self-esteem
From the day we are born, our family’s hugs help build our self-esteem because it shows that we are special and well-loved. According to The Healthy, human touch signifies bonding and social connection. As a result, hugging may bolster self-esteem by reinforcing your own ability to give and receive love.
4. Hugging increases your oxytocin levels
Oxytocin is also known as the cuddle hormone because of its’ association with the essential elements of relationships, such as devotion, bonding and trust. When we hug, we release oxytocin naturally, which helps us to connect and strengthens our relationships. According to US News, oxytocin also helps in achieving better heart health and lower blood pressure.
5. Hugging can be your pain reliever
Dr. Fahad Basheer, author of the book The Science of Emotions, tells us that hugging can help decrease pain. The act of hugging releases endorphins, which blocks the pathways of pain, and it improves blood circulation, which eliminates pain peptides. As Dr Basheer days – when you’re in pain, reach out for a hug.
6. Hugs may help you feel confident in public speaking
Not a lot of people are gifted with confidence when it comes to speaking in public. But the good news is that a hug from your partner before you do your speech can help boost your confidence. The Journal of Behavioural Medicine conducted a study which concluded that a 20-second hug from your partner before you speak in public can lower heart rates, resulting in a more confident you!
7. Hugging alleviates your athletic performance
An article in The New York Times cites a study that discovered that when it comes to team sports, good teams tended to touch more than bad teams. Athletes who exhibited more physical comradery, such as hugging, performed better. The highest-ranking and best performing teams are those who showed more bonding through touching and hugging.
8. Hugging can help combat the feeling of isolation
With the current age of social media and advanced communication technologies, we’re all more connected than ever - but sadly not in a physical way. This can create a form of isolation, as there are no physical interactions with other human beings, which in turn can lead to a feeling of loneliness and depression. A good hug can help you combat that feeling of isolation as your brain releases oxytocin during the process.
How many hugs do we need?
Hugging is a universal language we all should learn, and it’s essentially how to communicate without words. It doesn’t only help improve our health and well-being, but it’s also a great way to show that we care for the people around us. So how many hugs a day do we need? American therapist and author Virginia Satir tells us...
“We need 4 hugs a day for survival ▪️ We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance ▪️ We need 12 hugs a day for growth."
If you haven’t given the people who matter to you their daily dose of hugs today, there’s no time like the present to go and wrap your arms around them. And if you want to show them just how much you really care, how about giving them lots of cuddles while you take them out for dinner or on a family trip. Budget a bit tight? No worries, we’re here to help. Just check out our flexible cash loans from $1,000 to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually deposit the loan into your bank account within a few hours - so you’re all set to share the love (and hugs).