Why a Hug Could Do You Good
We all have those days where we could use a big cuddle, but according to the experts, a heartfelt hug could actually be good for our health!
Various studies have revealed that enjoying an embrace makes our bodies release the bonding hormone Oxytocin, which works to reduce our stress levels and blood pressure, plus lifts our mood – making a great excuse to reach out for a snuggle with your loved one, children or even just the family pet.
However, in spite of the scientific evidence that supports our need for hugs, a surprising number of people in the UK claim that they don’t get enough. According to the research by bear brand Forever Friends, whose thoughtful personalised greeting cards and gifts are available online at Hallmark.co.uk, one in three people say they crave more cuddles, and more than a quarter claimed that they saved their hugs for special occasions.
These sad snuggle statistics prompted Forever Friends to consult with Judi James, a relationship and body language expert. Together they have compiled a guide to hug etiquette, which should get even the most cuddle-shy people enjoying embraces more often.
The Etiquette of Hugging
- Hold on Tight: The golden rule of hugs is that the firmer they are, the better. Judi says that tighter squeezes are more sincere, and a limp hug is worse than no hug at all, so put your heart and soul into it!
- Timing is Everything: Men in particular are often unsure as to how long to maintain their hugs. This can be a tricky one to judge and largely depends on the person and situation, but just remember not to make your hug too short as it won’t feel genuine.
- Be Generous: A great cuddle shouldn’t just be shared with your close friends and family, says Judi. If you see a colleague or even just an acquaintance that’s in need of a hug, chances are they’ll appreciate it, as long as you ask permission first!
Hopefully these top tips will come in handy to the one in ten people who claimed that cuddles don’t come naturally to them, but for the 26% of people who said they proactively dish out hugs, they’ll just offer further encouragement.
So when you see your partner, children and friends next, welcome them with open arms – they’ll be as grateful for it as you are!