A Hug Only Takes 10 Seconds, But the Benefits Last Forever

A Hug Only Takes 10 Seconds, But the Benefits Last Forever

 Fun fact about hugs: They don’t just give you that warm, fuzzy sense of well-being — they can also be good for your health.

It’s true. Hugging for just 10 seconds can increase feel-good hormones like oxytocin, which causes stress chemicals like cortisol to drop and help lower your blood pressure. A study by Dr. Jan Astrom shows giving or getting a hug has positive effects.

Looking for a reason to hug someone? Here are a few:

Hugs are calming
Because hugging can raise your level of oxytocin, a good hug can leave you feeling calmer and less anxious. Stressed out about something? Hug it out.

Hugs are good for your heart
Not only does a hug feel good, it’s good for a heart healthy lifestyle.  In an experiment leaving site icon at the University of North Carolina participants who didn't have any contact with their partners developed a faster heart rate than those who received hugs. 

Hugs make you happy
Oxytocin isn’t the only hormone released during a hug. Hugs can also release serotonin and dopamine to help lift your mood.  

Hugs can help soothe your fears
A study on fears and self-esteem, leaving site icon shows hugging and touching greatly lower fears of death. The study notes that even if it’s just a stuffed teddy bear, hugging helps soothe a person’s fears.

Well-hugged babies lead to well-adjusted adults
Can’t stop hugging your baby? Don’t worry. Research shows that babies who receive a lot of physical affection will develop better coping mechanisms as they grow up.

There is no downside to hugging
Hugs are awesome.

Sources: Touch May Alleviate Existential Fears for People With Low Self-Esteem, leaving site icon Association for Psychological Science, 2014; Meanings of Hugging: From Greeting Behavior to Touching Implications, leaving site icon ResearchGate, 2014; More frequent partner hugs and higher oxytocin levels are linked to lower blood pressure and heart rate in premenopausal women, leaving site icon National Library of Medicine.

Originally published 1/12/2015; Revised 2019, 2022

Parents Comment Children
No Data