Hugs and Hormones

The positive effects of hugging on the brain and body.

Hormones regulate most of the functions within the physical body. Many glands within the body that control hormones are regulated by neurotransmitters in the brain. Hormones and neurotransmitters have an effect on various things such as sensory perception, sleep, stress, and mood. When the level of certain hormones are boosted, positive physical, emotional and mental health benefits are a result.

Hugs have an amazing effect on the bodies hormones.

Hugs release a rush of endorphins and Serotonin in the body, increasing pleasure and happiness and negating pain and sadness. The chemical neurotransmitter Serotonin is responsible for maintaining mood balance and a sense of well-being. Low Serotonin levels have been linked to feelings of loneliness and despair, which can lead to depression. The natural boost of Serotonin that comes from a hug can elevate our mood and create feelings of significance and improved self worth.

Healthy Serotonin levels in the body can decrease one's risk of heart problems, assist in maintaining a healthy body weight, and can help to prolong one's lifespan.

High levels of the stress hormone 'Cortisol' within the body not only contributes to higher stress levels, but it's known to contribute to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease. Hugs reduce Cortisol levels, which results in lowered blood pressure in the body, helping us to feel less anxious and nervous.

Lowered stress levels in the body improves overall relaxation and improves the quality of sleep. A hug or a cuddle before bedtime is a safe and effective alternative to a sleeping pill.

Hugs also boost the body's level of Dopamine, the same hormone that creates feelings of relaxation or excitement when listening to pleasurable music. Low levels of dopamine in the body have been linked to procrastination, self doubt and lack of enthusiasm. Low dopamine in the body is also linked to neuro-generative diseases and moods disorders, including depression. A hug is a great remedy!

Even just the anticipation of a hug from someone you love causes the brain to release a flood of dopamine throughout the body.

Hugs instantly elevate Oxytocin levels within the body. Known as the 'love drug' Oxytocin helps calm the nervous system and boosts positive emotions.A healthy flow of the natural hormone Oxytocin has been shown to heal feelings of loneliness, isolation and anger.

It's no surprise that a friendly and caring hug helps to create a feeling of connection and trust with another. Loving and affectionate hugs also help to strengthen intimacy and deepens the emotional bond between couples.

During a stressful or painful life event, or any type of upset, receiving a sympathetic hug from another not only helps to provide reassurance and comfort, but it can actually help a person deal with emotions more effectively and with more clarity. The connection a hug creates helps one to feel less alone, if even for a moment.

This hormone is also linked to social bonding which is why hugs can deepen the connection between two people. The release of Oxytocin in the body which comes from a hug helps with lowering heart rate and coritsal levels.

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