Parenting, Wellness

5 Important Reasons to Hug Your Loved Ones More Often

Photo by Heather Breshears Photography

“Hugs are the best, right mom?” Amidst the morning hustle, my daughter wraps her eager arms around my waist and naturally asks this heart-melting question. I lovingly embrace her and in those few seconds allow my other senses to merely respond to her touch. Her spontaneous hug activated my acute sense of touch and her sweet question activated my sense of hearing, and her lovely hair activated my sense of smell. All of a sudden I inevitably felt a sense of happiness and calm. How does that happen? An emotional perspective would suggest it is because I genuinely love my beautiful daughter. In the distant future, I will dearly miss these special moments the most.
The scientific perspective is a little different and less emotional. Endorphins are defined as a bundle of active hormones produced primarily in the nervous system. Consider them one of the body’s happiness hormones. There is a list of practical ways to naturally produce and release endorphins, which includes human touch.  
Here are 5 reasons you may want to hug your loved ones more often (including your four-legged friends).

1.) According to Dr. Kipp Matthews, licensed psychologist endorphins act as a natural painkiller activating opioid receptors in the brain, providing relief to the body.

2.) Endorphins instantly bring about a sense of wellness slowing breathing, lowering blood pressure,  and heart rates. The body’s physical responses leave a person feeling a peaceful sense of calmness.

3.) The body’s immune system is impacted by stress, which can invariably lead to chronic illness. People who produce a greater number of endorphins typically have less emotional stress and healthier immune systems. Therefore, they are living healthier lives.

4.) Feeling fatigued and drained is no proper way to live life.  Endorphins lead to higher energy levels and better stamina. People who feel energetic are more productive in their jobs and family life. 

5.) Higher levels of endorphins can sufficiently reduce rates of depression. People who produce high levels of endorphins may experience a euphoria creating excitement, happiness, and joy. As depression decreases, a person’s confidence will undoubtedly increase, allowing them to passionately pursue life-fulfilling activities.

Now you have 5 reasons to hug someone you love. Don’t forget to say, “Hugs are the best, right?”

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