6 reasons to squeeze more hugs into each day

Earlier in the week I wrote a post about how having a cuddle first thing in the morning can really make you feel happier and set you up for a better day.

After writing that I was inspired to go and read a bit more about hugs and cuddles and the benefits we can reap from squeezing more of them into our day to day life.

So, here are the results of my research – 6 really wonderful benefits of hugging:

6 benefits of hugging

1) It can really boost your immune system.  

Study after study have found that you’re more susceptible to catching a cold or the flu when you’re stressed out, so taking steps to reduce your stress levels can help protect you and keep those bugs at bay.  And hugging has been shown to reduce stress as it releases oxytocin into your blood stream.

Further research has also shown that if, despite our best efforts, we do still get ill, then our symptoms are often not as bad if we have lots of cuddles.  Which would explain why our children just want to be physically close to us when they’re poorly!

2) It makes you feel less afraid.  

I think this one is amazing!    A study published in the Psychological science journal found that anxiety levels in women who were told they might receive a mild electric shock were reduced when they held hands with one of the male experimenters, and were reduced even more when they held hands with their husbands.  So physical contact, either holding hands or a great big hug, can really help to calm your nerves and make you feel braver.

3) It lowers your blood pressure.  

I’m pretty sure that high blood pressure is pretty common in parents, I mean, getting children ready and out of the door in the morning isn’t particularly relaxing!  But research carried out by Light et al found that frequent hugs between partners are linked with higher oxytocin levels and lower blood pressure.  So, like I mentioned recently, grab your partner or your kids for a big hug first thing in the morning!

4) It helps you communicate better.  

We all know how important non-verbal communication is, we can express so much through looks and touch, it’s amazing.  Well, hugging can be a great form of non-verbal communication.  David Klow, a marriage and family therapist in Chicago says  “Cuddling is a way of saying, ‘I know how you feel.’ It allows us to feel known by our partner in ways that words can’t convey.”  How great is that?  If we can’t find the words to express to our partners that we feel them, and understand them, then a hug can be a fantastic was to express that.  This works even better if your partner’s love language is physical touch.

5) It strengthens your relationships.  

Remember that oxytocin that I mentioned earlier, that helps you feel more relaxed and less stressed?  Well it also helps bond you to the people that you’re hugging, so regular cuddles with your partner and your children will help make you all feel more secure and stable as a unit.

6)  It just makes you feel good!  

Not only does cuddling release oxytocin, it can also release endorphins into the mix, according to Dr Renee Horowitz.  Endorphins are the chemicals responsible for the ‘runner’s high’ that you might feel after exercising and they’re why eating chocolate makes us so happy!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go cwtch on the sofa with my kids and a big bar of dairy milk!

If you liked reading this, you might also like this post –Try this one little trick to start your day feeling happy!
Mr and Mrs T Plus Three
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14 Comments

  1. wendy 02/05/2016 / 8:33 am

    Amazing..I never knew hugs helped your immune system. I spend pretty much my whole day hugging my little boy but it’s always nice to know it has actual health benefits. Lovely post xx #TheList

    • Madeline 02/09/2016 / 9:41 pm

      It’s amazing isn’t it! Perfect excuse to keep giving him all those hugs! x

  2. Catie: An imperfect mum 02/05/2016 / 9:42 am

    Loved this post and Im a big hugger. Now you;ve just given me 6 fab reasons to keep on hugging Thankyou!

  3. Meg 02/05/2016 / 11:47 am

    We are a ‘huggy’ family … my daughter is at the childminders today and my husband is at work, but now I want to grab them both and give them a huge hug! Thanks for this post, it was really interesting to hear the benefits of hugging! x

    • Madeline 02/09/2016 / 9:42 pm

      Hope you enjoyed a big hug when they both came home! x

  4. Gina Caro 02/05/2016 / 1:20 pm

    I didn’t know that cuddling reduces your blood pressure! I’m going to have to cuddle my other half more, his blood pressure is through the roof. Lovely post 🙂 #TheList

    • Madeline 02/09/2016 / 9:43 pm

      Yes, perfect excuse to cuddle up together! x

  5. Sara at Handy Herbs 02/05/2016 / 6:10 pm

    Wow – even more reasons to keep hugging! I didn’t realise all of these facts. We hug a lot in our family but you can never have enough hugs in my view 🙂 #TheList

    • Madeline 02/09/2016 / 9:43 pm

      I’m with you on that, there’s no such thing as too much hugging! x

  6. Amy @ Mr and Mrs T Plus Three 02/11/2016 / 4:48 pm

    Oh I loved this so much! I really need hugs and I know all my kids do too, thanks for this it’s lovely. Thanks for linking up to #thelist x

    • Madeline 03/03/2016 / 12:52 pm

      I love how we instinctively seem to want hugs, and how powerful they are when we get them! x

  7. Mammy 21/01/2017 / 3:38 pm

    A highlight of my week is collecting Rhiannon and Matilda from school on Mondays when they come running out to give me great big hugs.
    I must admit, all of our grandchildren are brilliant at hugging. We never have to ask!

    • This glorious life 21/01/2017 / 7:26 pm

      That’s so lovely, and they are all quite huggy children aren’t they! x

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