"I look inside myself to find my peace"


Have You Had A Hug Today? - The Outstanding Benefits of Hugging

Did you know that when you hug someone it not only gives you a good feeling but it also helps to reduce deseases that can effect your overall health i.e. heart desease and blood pressure issues. Research has found that hugging increases the bonding or love hormone, Oxytocin, which decreases the risk of heart desease. Also hugging decreases the hormone, Cortisol, which decreases blood pressure. Although studies show that the decreases in Cortisol(the Fat-Causing-hormone)is mostly found in women. Oxytocin was found to increase in both men and women, especially those in healthy, positive, loving relationships. A research study was conducted by Dr. Karen Grewen, Researcher/Psychologist and results showed that handholding and hugging decreased the effects of cortisol caused by stress.

Interesting Facts from Wikipedia: Oxytocin is best known for its roles in female reproduction. It is released in large amounts after distension of the cervix and uterus during labor and after stimulation, facilitating birth and breastfeeding. Recent studies have begun to investigate oxytocin's role in various behaviors, including orgasm, social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety and maternal behaviors. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as the "love hormone."

Cortisol is a steroid hormone or glucocorticoid, produced by the adrenal gland. Sometimes referred to as the fat-causing hormone. Studies show that due to the release of cortisol in the body it has been connected to increased abdominal fat. It is released in response to stress and a low level of blood glucocorticoids. Its primary functions are to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis; suppress the immune system; and aid in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism. It also decreases bone formation. During pregnancy, increased production of cortisol between weeks 30-32 initiates production of fetal lung surfactant to promote maturation of the lungs.

So in other words, the more positive and stable relationships are the better it will benefit our health. Perhaps those peace loving hippies from the seventies that would always say: "Make love not war.." weren't far off the mark of the benefits of holding and hugging one another. As human beings we are social creatures by nature. Studies have shown that people who are married, have friends and are social, tend to be healthier and happier. Which makes me wonder about people that are anti-social or have antisocial personality disorders. There must be some sort of emotional or biological distortion with those people that cause them to be that way. Some people don't even want to be touched, let alone hugged, and they will avoid getting close to anyone physically.

It has been found that those people have other emotional issues that could probably use some form of counseling. This is not a ridiculous claim. The absence of touch can have an effect on our emotions. The positive benefits touch has on us emotionally and physically are key to retaining a heathly sense of well being. I can't help but think that how we feel about getting touched or hugged stems from when we are babies. A child can grow up disturbed or having social problems with others due to them not being nurtured properly, which normally involves loving hugs and positive reinforcement. Where as a child that was raised in a loving family that was hugged and nurtured grew up having self-assurance and they too were a loving human-being. Of course we can't dismiss the fact that no matter how much we love our children some will fall into the wrong crowd of peers and can become lost and change their entire outlook towards others and life.

For them, even though they came from a loving, nurturing childhood, they have chosen to be influenced by others, whether positive or negative, and they will have to learn from their experiences. Even so, usually people will come to their senses once they've realized they have made a mistake, and they will fall back on the key character builders they learned as a child. Hopefully those were positive reinforcements and nurturing times. Positive touch(or stroking)has been shown to facilitate physical and psychological functioning paritcularly in terms of reducing stress, relieving pain, increasing the ability to cope and general overall health. So when you wake up in the morning take a few moments to hug your spouse, your children, your pets. Even when its appropriate, hugging your co-workers is extremely beneficial too. This can significantly improve your quality of life. Enjoy the day!

\Sources: University of North Carolina, Dr. Karen Grewen-Researcher/Psychologist, Dr. Ben Kim-Natural Health Care, Wikipedia Encyclopedia

Copyright(c)2011.Have You Had A Hug Today?-The Outstanding Benefits of Hugging.Written by Sherrie Vitello.All Rights Reserved.

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