Oxytocin is a hormone produced naturally in your body. Oxytocin helps bond with others and feel positive emotions such as love, affection, trust, and empathy. You may have heard about its role in childbirth or even cancer treatment. However, it’s not just used for bonding; oxytocin has been shown to improve cognitive functions like memory and learning abilities. It also increases feelings of well being and happiness.
Hugs are awesome!
It seems that hugging releases oxytocin which is linked to many positive effects. If you want to get rid of stress, you probably don’t want to hug someone too hard. But if you’re feeling down, then maybe a quick hug will lift your spirits up. There are some studies showing that hugs increase feelings of happiness and reduce negative emotions like anxiety and depression. Research also shows that they decrease pain perception, promote relaxation, and increase blood flow to the brain.
They also improve sleep quality.
So what does all this mean?
Well, there are two theories about why hugs make us happy:
1) They release endorphins which makes us feel better.
Endorphins are natural chemicals that relieve pain and boost mood.
2) They release serotonin which reduces stress hormones and boosts mood.
Serotonin is another chemical released during emotional states such as happiness, sadness, fear, anger, joy and other emotions.
But it gets even better! Not only do hugs make you feel good, but they can also improve your relationships with others. Hugs have these following effects on relationships:
1) Makes people more sympathetic to each other.
2) A hug expresses acceptance of another person.
3) Makes people feel closer to each other.
4) Makes people more willing to help each other.
5) Gives a sense of comfort and security to others.
As you can see, the benefits of hugs are tremendous! There are many reasons why we should hug more in our relationships.
Hugging is good medicine
The human body naturally produces its own “drugs” to maintain health, cure illness, and protect us from disease. These drugs are called endogenous peptides. A popular endogenous peptide is oxytocin. It is popular because it helps us in many ways.
Oxytocin is a peptide hormone that is released in the brain. It is popular for its roles in child birth and emotional bonding. It also has many other functions in the body as well. This endogenous peptide plays a large role in behavior, social interaction, and emotion.
Research shows that hugging can have the following effects:
1) Reduce physical pain.
2) Reduce psychological distress.
3) Increase positive emotions like happiness.
Research also shows that there are other endogenous peptides besides oxytocin that are released during hugging. For instance, another popular one is called Beta-endorphin. It is another “feel good” peptide that is released during exercise and pleasurable activities like hugging.
Hugging for health
As mentioned before, hugging has many beneficial effects on our bodies. It is also good for our bodies in the following ways:
1) Lowers blood pressure.
2) Lowers heart rate.
3) Lowers stress hormone levels.
4) Boosts immune systems by increasing white blood cells.
Hugging has many amazing effects on our health and well being. Next time you go to hug someone, remember all of the great things that are happening to your body!
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New York: Springer. pp. 317–340. doi:10.1007/978-1-59745-000-5_11
Schildmann, Martin (2010). “Chapter 8: The Social Braingasm: The Neuropeptide Network Regulating Social Bonding”. In Christen, Wil; Kjær, Casimir; Prehn, Katrin. Psychology Reclaimed: Sprote of Mind. IUL: Verlag.
pp. 135–157. ISBN 978-3-8483-0083-1
Schildmann, Martin (May 6, 2009). “The Social Healing Force of a Hug”. Psychology Today. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
Singer, Tania; Bourne, Lucy (2012). “
Imaging the Brain: What Can We Learn From How Our Brains Change After we Fall in Love?”
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Stawarczyk, Jolanta; Majdan, Marek; Majdan, Tomasz (2012). “Social interaction: A source of positive affect”. Frontiers in Psychology. 3: 495. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00495.
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Zheng, Yan; Brunyé, T. John; Lepri, Andrew F. (2009). “Oxytocin and the neural circuitry of social cognition”. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology.
30: 297. doi:10.1016/j.yfrne.2009.04.004. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
Hugging and the brain (this is worth reading!)
Hugging and health benefits
This is a section where you write about yourself. Write about what you’ve done in the past, what you’re doing now, and what you’re going to do in the future. This is your life story, you might as well share it with the world!
What I’ve Done So Far…
I am currently a student at Everglades University. I’m studying neuroscience and I have a passion for learning. I love science and I consider it to be an ongoing quest for truth. I’m glad that I live in an era where we can discover so much about the world around us and about ourselves.
Before Everglades, I went to college at Miami Dade College where I studied philosophy. Before that, I was a student at South Plantation High School in Florida.
What I’m Doing Now…
Right now, I’m writing this autobiography because I want to remember my past and also share it with the world. I figure that if I can make at least one person smile after reading all of this, then it’ll be worth it. I’m also a tutor at my university and while I absolutely hate dealing with the money and paperwork involved, I really love helping people learn because teaching them brings me joy.
What I’m Going To Do Later…
I might get a job. I might continue to learn. I might write more in the future. Even after I graduate, there are so many things I want to do, but one thing is certain: as long as I continue to fuel my curiosity and passion for learning, then I’ll be successful in whatever path life takes me on. And you can too!
Here’s where you can talk about your relationships with your family, friends, and significant others. Talk about your hobbies and what you’ve done during your spare time. Basically, anything that doesn’t fall into the other categories goes here. Feel free to be as general or as specific as you want.
I have many friends and it would be near impossible for me to name them all, but I’ll at least mention a few. I happen to be good friends with a girl named Allyson. We met when we were both very young and I’m glad that I’ve managed to keep this friendship throughout the years. Allyson is an amazing individual and is very intelligent. She also happens to be a genius.
In addition to being a friend she’s also a roommate in my dorm and we have a lot of fun together.
I also happen to be good friends with another girl named Elizabeth. We met during high school and she happens to be a year younger than me. Despite the age difference, we’ve managed to become close due to our mutual interests. When I have spare time, Elizabeth is always a great person to hang out with.
I’m also friends with Sebastian. Sebastian and I have been friends for quite some time, but we got particularly close during college. He’s an amazing artist and has a passion for great stories. I’m glad that he’s pursuing a career in this field because I know he’ll do great.
I also have a lot of other friends and they come from all different backgrounds. I won’t mention all of them, but you should know that I appreciate all of them for who they are and I have a great time interacting with all of them.
Let’s see…I’ve never really had too much experience with the ladies. I’ve only been in one real relationship during my high school years which didn’t last all that long. I don’t consider myself a loser or anything like that, but I suppose I just haven’t met the right person yet.
Oh well, I’m sure it’ll happen eventually and when it does I’m going to stay faithful and love that one special person for the rest of my life.
My future plans?
Well I already mentioned that I want to pursue a career in the writing field, but I’m not sure what I want to specialize in yet. I suppose if I could specialize in everything then that would be great, but realistically I need to pick one area. I guess I’ll make that decision when the time comes.
In addition to my writing career, I also want to start a family someday. I want to have kids and raise them in such a way that they’ll become great people and do something worthwhile with their lives. I know for a fact that I’ll be a nice father because I like to think that I’m nice to everyone, even those who aren’t so nice to me.
If there is anything else you’d like to ask me, then please go right ahead.
(John is sitting in his chair with a blank expression on his face)
WOW! That was pretty intense to hear all of that at one time. I’m not sure what to say, but I’ll just ask you a few questions:
Do you have any secrets that you’re hiding from the rest of the world?
Are you happy with who you are?
(Happy with Life)
What’s your ideal type of girlfriend?
Sources & references used in this article:
The Miracle in a Daddy’s Hug by J Burns – 2003 – books.google.com
Your Food and Your Mood: Carbs, Depression, and Cognitive Decline by K Cann – breakingmuscle.com
Restorative effects of physical activity in forests and indoor settings. by SM Hug, R Hansmann, C Monn… – … Journal of Fitness, 2008 – search.ebscohost.com
No Mopes Allowed: A Small Town Police Chief Rants and Babbles about Hugs and High Fives, Meth Busts, Internet Celebrity, and Other Adventures… by DA Oliver – 2013 – books.google.com