Mental Wellness Wednesday: Why hugs are beneficial to your health

Friday Jan 21 is National Hugging Day. So today we will be talking about how hugs are good for your mental health.

Your body registers 2 types of touch: 1) fast touch (detecting a fly on your nose) and slow touch, which activates the emotional meaning of touch.

1. Hugs create a positive feedback loop

One study found that when couples share positive interactions (like touch, laugh more) they share oxytocin – the bonding hormone. The more affection was expressed, the more it was reciprocated, and the more invested the couple felt in the relationship

2) 20 seconds is all you need!

In a study of almost 200 people, the length (and not the number) of hugs matter. Both men and women showed lower stress levels when a supportive partner hugged them for 20 seconds. That’s a quick stress relief.

3) Grab a cushion

If hugs aren’t your thing, a different study found that hugging a cushion while having a stressful conversation can also lower stress levels.