There is a therapeutic effect whenever two human beings hug each other. A simple hug can make a person feel relieved and cared for, no matter how bad the day has been.
But how many hugs do we need a day exactly? Let's explore the question!
Nowadays, hugging each other has become more relevant given the rampancy of anxiety and depression across people of varying age backgrounds.
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Although a hug is not a direct alternative of a mental health professional, giving and receiving a hug from someone you love is an excellent first step toward dealing with unwanted emotions.
Getting hugged can make your day, whether you are having your worst day or just a typical day at work. Daily hugging can do a lot of good for our mental and emotional health.
How many hugs do we need daily, and what are the benefits?
To maximize the benefits of a hug, experts say we need to have at least four to twelve hugs per day. The more, the better.
Some people may think that twelve hugs per day are too much. However, this is mainly because people do not receive as many hugs as they used to.
For quite some time now, we have been living busy and solitary lives with little to no human contact and interaction.
Moreover, many people are not fond of hugging because touching or being touched may be too bothersome for them. This has become a more serious topic, having spent the last two years dealing with the pandemic.
How long should a hug last?
According to London psychologists, the ideal hug lasts between five and ten seconds.
Depending on the participants, hugging can last from a few seconds to one or two minutes. As said earlier, a hug is a therapeutic activity that can have a lot of advantages.
According to Science.org, the average hug lasts around 3 seconds. It's no surprise as most of the hugs occur at family and friend gatherings when people often greet each other with a quick hug.
7 Benefits of Hugging
Hugs are considered a good activity that can help heal a person mentally and emotionally. Some people hire others for a hug therapy session because the very act helps induce some happy hormones.
The following are the benefits of hugging:
1. Hugs can make a person feel as if they are not alone
Feelings of solitude are one of the main reasons why a lot of people these days suffer from anxiety and depression. They think they are alone in their struggles and no one is there for them in dealing with life problems.
A simple hug can change how a person feels. Being hugged can make a person feel that they are not alone and the other person is there to offer moral and emotional support in dealing with the problem.
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2. Hugs can provide a relaxing feeling
A hug can offer a sense of peace and relaxation whenever you notice a loved one stressed about a matter in their life. Scientifically speaking, hugs can help reduce stress levels by providing feelings of relaxation.
No matter what our loved ones may be going through, a hug is a kind gesture you can
3. Hugs can trigger happy hormones
Hugging someone also helps release neurotransmitters that trigger feelings of happiness. It does not matter whether you are the one giving or receiving the hug; it is sure to make you feel happy and cared for.
Oxytocin is released whenever you cuddle with someone.
4. Hugs can help make the heart healthier
Life problems can take a toll on your heart health, and a good way to keep taking good care of your heart is through hugging.
Hugging is good for the heart because it helps reduce blood pressure, especially during stressful days.
5. Hugs can help other people deal with fears and anxiety
Feelings of fear and anxiety can be relieved through hugs as well. Whether you are worried about a simple thing or something about the future, a hug every day can help you manage your fears in life.
6. Hugs can help deal with chronic pain
Chronic pain is difficult to deal with, which is why a lot of people resort to medical prescriptions to numb the pain.
Hugging is an effective and affordable way to reduce chronic pain because it offers comfort and a positive mindset to help recover from chronic pain.
7. Hugs can make communicating with other people easier
If you want to connect more to the ones you love, a hug is a sure way to help make communicating with them hassle-free. It builds up an emotional connection without needing to utter a single word.
Sometimes, simply hugging someone can communicate more than verbal words can.
Alternatives to Hugging
If you are not the type of person to casually hug others, other alternatives can still help you experience some similar benefits of hugging.
- Bump your fists.
Fistbumps can still help you connect with other people and it is fairly easy to do. Many people fistbump another person to show their concern and approval of them.
- Shake another person’s hand.
Handshaking is also a good alternative to hugging. This may seem more professional than a hug, but friends shake their hands more than they hug each other.
- Give out half-hugs.
If you are a bit hesitant about hugging someone, you can opt to do a half-hug. Simply wrapping your arm around a person can make you feel emotionally connected with them, although not as much as a full hug does.
When it comes to giving comfort and relaxation, hugging is one of the simplest and most genuine things you can do for your loved one.
A simple hug can go a long way, especially if someone is currently struggling in life. A hug is a kind gesture you can offer at any time of the day to let a person know that they are not alone in facing all of life’s adversity.
Nicole Graham is a relationship expert at Womenio.com. She is helping women grow into their best selves so they can be confident and bring more love, passion, and purpose to their lives. Nicole enjoys studying the psychology of love and is passionate about writing on them. She offers helpful tips and advice to help overcome any relationship issue, whether you’re single or already in a relationship.