Go on, give me a squeeze

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We all enjoy receiving hugs, whether from our loved ones, children or friends and when any of these people need a hug, it’s nice to reciprocate. But did you know just how good hugging is and why it makes you and the other person feel good? Oh yeah, it’s so much more than a way of showing someone you care - here’s why hugging is good for us all and why we should be doing it more often.

  1. The average hug lasts 3.17 seconds but hugging longer, say up to 20 seconds, can seriously increase serotonins which will help elevate your mood and reduce stress levels.

  2. Hugs can instantly boost oxytocin levels, which help relieve feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.

  3. Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the ‘Solar Plexus Chakra’. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body's production of white blood cells, keeping you healthy and disease-free.

  4. A hug before a big presentation, exam or public speaking can seriously help calm the nerves. It lowers your blood pressure and your heart rate, keeping you calmer and more able to deal with the task in hand

  5. And above all, it feels lovely to have someone give you a hug and to give someone a hug when they need it. With social media today we’re in more virtual contact with our friends and networks than ever before, but when was the last time you reached out to them physically and gave them a real squeeze?

So go on, get out there and let your friends and family know you care about them by giving them a hug, heck even do a group hug - we all need them!