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More Than Just a Hug: Benefits of Physical Contact

The power of human touch is not to be underestimated. It has the ability to sooth and to nurture. A squeeze of a hand, a pat on the back, a kiss on the forehead, a hug first thing in the morning or last thing at night. All small gestures that have the power to build and nurture our relationships with one another.

Children need to feel loved and nurtured, but don't forget that us adults do too! So while you're making sure your kids get lots of your attention, don't forget to spare a little for your partner, friends and family. A little hug can go a long way.

So why are hugs so great?

  1. The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and creates a sense of safety.
  2. Hugs can instantly boost oxytocin levels. A surge in oxytocin can do wonders for the mind, healing feelings of loneliness, isolation and anger.
  3. From birth to adulthood we are hugged and cared for by our families, showing us we are loved and special. Hugging boosts self-esteem which connects us to our ability to self love.
  4. A bit like laughter, hugs teach us to let go and be present in the moment. They pull us out of our normal thinking pattern (which we all know can sometimes be a bit stressful!) and connects us with the people, the love and the world around us.
  5. Holding a hug for an extended time lifts serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.
  6. Hugs strengthen the immune system. The simple power of a hug balances the body's production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.
  7. Hugging relaxes muscles, releasing tension in the body. By increasing circulation in the soft tissues, a hug can actually soothe away aches and pains.
This article has been sponsored by the JOHNSON’S® brand.

 

About the Author

Editor of eumom.ie, Mairéad Cahalan is a creator of content, a lover of music, red wine and coffee, and a part-time wedding singer! Find her on Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud and LinkedIn.

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