It’s been 14 months and counting as we are still awaiting the chance to hug and embracing our people! To say that we’ve missed social contact is an understatement.
It’s worth pointing out, as restrictions begin to ease, and they will, the health experts are still advising caution with social contact. 5 Ways to Make Hugging Safer
But, ultimately, there’s a reason that hugs make us feel good. In fact, there are multiple reasons. Experts tell us why hugs are so good for us!
First off, it’s in our nature! According to the experts, it’s in our biological make-up to seek out social contact – which is why hugging is so important to us. We are social creatures by nature and are hardwired to seek out contact with others, as this has been key to our survival.
According to a senior lecturer in psychological interventions at the University of Central Lancashire, ‘Our early ancestors relied on the support of their tribe for food, shelter, and safety. Building relationships within the tribe was essential as being an outcast was fatal.
‘Physical contact allows us to bond closely with others. This attachment is vital from birth as, when we are born, we are dependent on a caregiver for food and safety. When we hug we tap into this primary attachment. ‘Touching each other allows us to share warmth through our body and experience biochemical changes that further connect us to each other.’
Then there is the happy hormone!
‘When we hug, we release a neurohormone called oxytocin – a powerful bonding hormone that makes us feel warm and fuzzy. ‘Research has also found that the release of oxytocin is linked to increased trust and empathy, and it can also help you to cope during stressful times by nudging you to seek out social support.;’
‘Further research also shows that the release of oxytocin reduces the feeling of pain – so giving someone a hug when they are suffering can really help.’ Hugging, kissing, cuddling, and sexual intimacy can all trigger oxytocin production.
While there are so many reasons why hugging is good for us, it’s only a matter of time before we can embrace it again.