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A Hug a day keeps stress away – 10 reasons to embrace Jadoo ki Jhappi!

Sometimes, when I am sitting by my window on a rainy afternoon, sipping coffee and thinking of everything that my li’l brain can comprehend, I think of the warm, fuzzy feeling that spreads as a smile on the face of a tiny tot when a loved one envelops him/her in a warm embrace. I often wonder why those affectionate tokens of reassurance keep declining in frequency as we age. A sorry thing, if you ask me.

Hugs = Health + Happiness.


Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

And therefore, these comforting tokens of love need to be embraced more and more…and even more!!

Here are the top ten reasons why you should hug more to embrace health and happiness like never before this Hug Day:

1. The feel-good factor

couple hugging


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There is no better feeling in the world than to be nestled in someone’s arms, tucked away from the ‘real’ world for a few moments to relax, revive, and then resume the ‘real.’ Hugs are a magical form of interpersonal touch that not only make one feel good but also help lead to feelings of happiness and love. They are the physical manifestation of ‘carpe diem’ and help us to let go, be present in the moment, and refill our life’s vial of energy. After all, there’s a reason those nice, squeezy wonders are called ‘jadoo ki jhappi.’

2. The best stress-buster

Hugs are the best stress-busters ever. Not only do they have an immediate calming effect on the body and help release tension, they are scientifically proven to reduce the amount of cortisol (stress hormone) produced in our bodies, thereby, helping to weed out the ‘strung-out’ feeling.

3. They take away the fear

couple kissing (5)

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These magical pills warm our hearts, make us feel loved and cared for, and reduce stress whilst also helping to alleviate our fears. Research published in the journal Pyschological Science proves that hugging and similar forms of interpersonal touch help combat individual fears of mortality. The research finds that hugging helps soothe the mind and instills in people a sense of their significance. Researcher Sander Koole writes,

“Even fleeting and seemingly trivial instances of interpersonal touch may help people to deal more effectively with existential concern.”

4. Good for the heart

couple kissing (4)

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Hugs are the most personal form of heart-to-heart communication. They are what I like to call ‘the heart’s happiness.’ J Not only do hugs make the heart feel good, promote a feeling of safety, and build trust, but they also regulate one’s heartbeat and pulse. Hugging aids in higher amounts of oxytocin (love hormone) release that helps mitigate the risk of heart disease!

5. Several health benefits

couple hugging1


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Hugging leads to a cascade of health benefits. Hugging eases depression, relieves stress, keeps blood pressure in check, helps mitigate the risk of heart disease, and makes one feel calmer. Hugging brings down the levels of cortisol (stress hormone), increases the flow of oxytocin that helps ease anxiety, and has a soothing effect on the heart. Science totally backs that warm, fuzzy feeling that fills your insides when a hug comes along! J Also, hugging causes serotonin (happiness hormone) and dopamine levels to shoot up, leading to feelings of happiness and love. Hugs also strengthen the immune system by stimulating the thymus gland and thereby, aiding the production of white blood cells.

6. Deepens the bond

hug (2)

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This one is a given. When someone envelops you in their arms, you are whisked away from all your cares to a ‘feeling of home.’ Hugging promotes trust, provides a sense of security, safety, and comfort and elevates mood. It teaches us to give and receive. There is something endearing about being receptive to the warmth that fills you while you reciprocate with the same. Hugging is like investing in the relationship. It is synergistic, which means the outcome is much more than the sum of what is invested. And that sure is a reward for the relationship!!

7. Spreads smiles

couple kissing at a carnival

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Making people smile is one of the most unadulterated form of joy one can ever know. And hugs are one way in which the joy can spread upon lips to last a long time. It is in the innate simplicity of hugs that the power of ‘creating and spreading smiles’ lies. A hug can light up someone’s day and plus they are free. So go and dole them out. Maybe your hugs can spread forward as a spontaneous hug to someone else and result in one big hug-sy bubble of joy!! Ahh, my fantasies!! But, hey it can happen!! J

8. Boosts self-esteem

couple in love

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More touch, more oxytonin, more self-worth. The reason why a hug can immediately help lift one’s mood is because we carry the idea of being ‘loved and cared for’ and being ‘precious’ as deriving validation from the warm hugs that we received as infants. This knowledge that is carried at the cellular level certainly springs back to life when hugs are given and received more freely as adults. It boosts self-esteem, revs up feelings of self-worth and promotes a positive attitude to life.

9. Encourages empathy, understanding and communication


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In an article published in Psychology Today titled “The Power of Touch,” DePauw University psychologist Matthew Hertenstein demonstrates our innate ability to decode emotions via touch alone. He maintains that “touch is a much more nuanced, sophisticated, and precise way to communicate emotion” than believed formerly. It promotes empathy, leads to a better understanding and perception vis-à-vis a more open and improved flow of communication, verbatim and otherwise. The several biochemical and physiological reactions induced as a result of hormone-secretion caused by hugging form the foundation of connecting to people and help develop devotion, trust and bonding.

10. Can change the world

couple hugging1

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Now, I’d only be writing about the dream I couldn’t stop myself from talking about earlier on in the article. Hugs are the magical ticket to the kingdom of joy and it would be lovely to see everyone smiling in the world!! So, let’s go out there and hug it out- I want to see all of us on the planet in that big hug-sy bubble I think I am falling in love with! 😉 And by the way, there’s science backing me up here too- Renowned psychotherapist Virginia Satir says,

“We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

See, told ya!! J

So, I have to stop writing this now, coz, it’s hug o’clock. Time for hugs!! Happy hugging, everyone!! J

Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Article Name
10 reasons to hug more this Hug Day
Hugging is underrated; there is much more that hugging brings to our minds and hearts than you may imagine. Here are all 10 reasons to hug more this Hug Day.
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."