There is nothing more comforting than a warm hug—whether it’s from a friend, a sibling, or an S.O. Being on the receiving end of an embrace makes you feel good, loved, and protected. These very reasons should also inspire you to pay it forward. Read on to discover even more benefits of a simple squeeze, bear hug, or cute snuggle.

It boosts self-esteem
Attribute this up to those feel-good hormones. So do your bestie a favor, especially when she’s you’re having a really, really bad day. Remember, just the thought of having someone who cares enough to embrace her is all she needs to turn her mood around.

It’s a natural stress-reliever
Holding hands or hugging are said to result in a decrease of the stress hormone cortisol, and an increase of oxytocin, or the “cuddle hormone.” More reason to cuddle up you’re your man.

Hugs create a bond between the giver and the receiver
A study from the University of Miami says, that touch is mutually beneficial. Researchers have even conducted tests which prove that a simple touch improves one’s mood, combat anxiety and depression, and even lead to fewer visits to the doctor. Matt Hertenstein, an experimental psychologist at DePauw University in Indiana offers a possible explanation for these benefits: “Oxytocin [the “cuddle hormone”] is a neuropeptide, which basically promotes feelings of devotion, trust, and bonding.”

It lowers heart rate
Steady your sister’s racing heart with a hug! Studies have shown that hugs can lower blood pressure and heart rate in premenopausal women.

It stimulates dopamine
Aside from it being the “feel good hormone,” dopamine is also responsible in giving more motivation to go for a goal—whether that’s for completing a pending project at work or reaching a fitness milestone this year, says Huffington Post. So go ahead, hug your guy to encourage him to reach his dreams!


Photo: Flickr ; GIPHY

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