It’s been proven that hugs are essential to our happiness! I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty happy with this new source of information as I love a good cuddle and hug sesh.

 

The Science Behind It

Hugs release a hormone called Oxytocin, which has been dubbed many names over the years: the “love hormone”, “cuddle hormone” and of course the “hug hormone.”

What happens when Oxytocin is released? We feel happier of course! Well that’s definitely simplifying the science… But Oxytocin lowers both our heart rate and cortisol levels.

What is cortisol? It’s the hormone responsible for stress, high blood pressure and heart disease. Who wouldn’t want to reduce that?

Could hugs get any better? You bet they can! In addition to releasing Oxytocin, a hug also stimulates the brain to release dopamine which is known as the “pleasure hormone”. Yes our dopamine sensors are the ones that are targeted by many stimulants, aka drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine’s. So why do drugs when you can just get a hug?

 

How many hugs should we have a day?

If you’re one of those people who don’t like hugs it may be a time for a change. But don’t worry, you don’t need to go overboard. Recent studies have indicated that four hugs a day is all you need!

It’s only now that I realise those people you see giving out free hugs are actually potentially making a difference in peoples lives.

As it turns out, in an average day you don’t encounter too many hugs. On weekends we socialise and easily smash the four hug quote. However, for those living in the daily grind it can be hard to reach four. After all, how many people hug to greet and farewell in your average office? Not many… because that could be considered sexual harassment. It’s a sad world we live in I know!

In contrast to your 9 – 5pm workers, you have travellers. Could this be the reason we’re all so happy? When we travel we’re always saying hello and goodbye to people. Living life on the road, relationships progress more quickly so you’re generally in a hugging relationship by the end of the first five minutes. With all these hugs it’s no wonder we’re all so happy!

I know there are many other reasons for us to be happy when travelling, but it’s definitely food for thought?

Are you a hug person?

Please share your hug stories and quotas in the comments section below