What is a Hug Dealer? Hug Dealerz are commited to spreading positivity everywhere they go, and helping to reconnect our society through the simple and kind gesture of offering hugs.
Hugs reduce stress by showing your support
When a friend or family member is dealing with something painful or unpleasant in their lives, give them a hug.
Scientists say that giving another person support through touch can reduce the stress of the person being comforted. It can even reduce the stress of the person doing the comforting
Hugs may protect you against illness
The stress-reducing effects of hugging might also work to keep you healthier.
In a study of over 400 adults, researchers found that hugging may reduce the chance a person will get sick. The participants with a greater support system were less likely to get sick. And those with the greater support system who did get sick had less severe symptoms than those with little or no support system.
Hugs can make you happier
Oxytocin is a chemical in our bodies that scientists sometimes call the “cuddle hormone.” This is because its levels rise when we hug, touch, or sit close to someone else. Oxytocin is associated with happiness and less stress.
Scientists have found that this hormone has a strong effect in women. Oxytocin causes a reduction in blood pressure and of the stress hormone norepinephrine.
One study found that the positive benefits of oxytocin were strongest in women who had better relationships and more frequent hugs with their romantic partner. Women also saw positive effects of oxytocin when they held their infants closely.
Hugs help reduce your fears
Scientists have found that touch can reduce anxiety in people with low self-esteem. Touch can also keep people from isolating themselves when reminded of their mortality. They found that even touching an inanimate object — in this case a teddy bear — helped reduce people’s fears about their existence.
How many hugs do we need?
Family therapist Virginia Satir once said, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” While that may sound like a lot of hugs, it seems that many hugs are better than not enough.
So, how many hugs should you have a day for optimal health? According to the best science, we should have as many as possible if we want to reap the greatest positive effects.
Unfortunately, most Western people today — especially people in the United States — are touch-deprived. Many people live solitary or busy lives with reduced social interaction and touching.
Our modern social conventions often push people not to touch others who aren’t directly related to them. However, it seems people could benefit a lot from touching others a bit more.
So, if you want to feel better about yourself, reduce your stress, improve communication, and be happier and healthier, it seems that giving and asking for more hugs is a good place to start.
If you feel nervous about seeking out more hugs, start by asking for them from friends and family members closest to you first.
Science proves that regular hugs with those closest to you, even if brief, can have especially positive effects on your brain and body.