Have you ever hugged for close to thirty minutes and felt good? You may have or not but trust me, it is the best feeling in the world. Hugs certainly feel good, both on the giving and receiving end, and it turns out their effects are more than skin deep. Some studies have shown that hugs increase the "bonding" hormone, oxytocin, and decrease the risk of heart disease.
The research showed that when couples hugged for 20 seconds, their levels of oxytocin, released during childbirth and breastfeeding, increased. Those in loving relationships had the highest increases. Well, it appears that human contact through hugs lowers blood pressure and reduces stress, which cuts the risk of heart disease.
Hugs have also been shown to improve overall mood, increase nerve activity, and a host of other beneficial effects. Positive physical touch has an immediate anti-stress effect, slowing breathing and heart rate.
Indeed, previous studies have found that hugging and handholding reduces the effects of stress. Two groups of couples were asked to talk about an angry event. One group had held hands and hugged when recounting, while the other sat without contact.
It was found that:
Blood pressure increased significantly more among the no-contact group as compared to the huggers.
Heart rate among those without contact increased 10 beats a minute, compared to five beats a minute for huggers.
So here’s how to give a real good, heart protecting, bear hug!
First and foremost, most definitely not the ‘Pentecostal’ hug (a hug which has less body contact).This type of hug could best be described as a back pat. It is done with so much consciousness and less entertainment is enjoyed. There is what experts describe as the art of hugging. One needs to know the type of hug to give to a loved one which would boost feelings of appreciation.
The most appreciated one is what is described as a Full on Hug, as the name suggests it requires the full you to enjoy it. It’s an open-hearted bear hug. It is best performed unselfconsciously without much thought. It’s free, loving and very expressive. Being expressive encourages another to relax and open up to you.
So go out there and enjoy! Hugs are definitely great, so enjoy it while you can and have your heart grow healthier and healthier.
Source: The Weekend Globe