The Power of Hugs

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” -Leo Buscaglia

Kazbär hugging felder

Photo Credit: Harlequeen via Compfight cc

The Power of Touch

Hugs and cuddling have a lasting impact on your psyche more than you may have previously thought.

Between friends, lovers, or parents/family, physical affection helps the brain, the heart and other bodily systems.  Oxytocin, a hormone released by the brain, is the core culprit for our response to love and affection. Oxytocin makes us feel good when we’re near to the people we are close with. It also lowers the levels of stress hormones in the body, reduces blood pressure, improves mood and increases your pain tolerance. Recent studies have also shown that it can speed up how fast our wounds (cuts, bruises, scrapes) heal.

The hormone has also been linked to having anti-aging properties.  People and animals with a higher proportion of oxytocin in their blood have been shown to heal better than others, and have less inflammation. This means our muscles do not deteriorate as fast, our skin is more plump and our brain is sharper than someone with lower levels of oxytocin throughout life.

Hugs also build stronger bonds with the people you deem ‘close.’

The Power of Kind Words

The words you say to someone can impact how they proceed through the rest of the day. So throw a smile out to a stranger on the street or do a nice act of kindness for someone. See how it will impact your day and theirs!

Source: National Institute of Health

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