Picture this: You’ve just had the absolute worst day imaginable. Everything went wrong, and despite trying to look on the bright side of things, you just can’t seem to shake those black clouds that keep following you around.
And then you talk with a loved one — your dad, best friend, boyfriend — and they wrap their arms around you.
A giant hug. It’s just what you needed.
It turns out (not surprisingly) that there’s more than just love going on here. Yes, science is hard at work, and you can thank it for lifting your once-gloomy mood. New research recently published in the journal Psychological Science even shows that a simple hug can boost your immunity. Lead researcher Dr. Sheldon Cohen studied 400 adults, who were monitored for interpersonal conflict and the number of hugs they received. They were also exposed to the common cold virus and were monitored for signs of infection. The results? The frequency of hugs significantly reduced the risk of infection. The findings, Cohen concluded, point to the sheer power of hugs…
“This suggests that being hugged by a trusted person may act as an effective means of conveying support and that increasing the frequency of hugs might be an effective means of reducing the deleterious effects of stress. The apparent protective effect of hugs may be attributable to the physical contact itself or to hugging being a behavioral indicator of support and intimacy. Either way, those who receive more hugs are somewhat more protected from infection.”
I couldn’t agree more! You all know I’m a pretty big hugger. I always have been. I love the immediacy of an embrace. The connectedness of touch. It’s something that can seemingly feel like such a small gesture, but in the long run, the benefits are overwhelming.
When was the last time you hugged someone? When was the last time someone hugged you? Did it bring you comfort? GO ahead and hug someone today, and never let anyone tell you that hugs don’t matter. You never know — you just might be turning someone’s day around. *HUGS* to you, friends! xoxo
[Photos via We Heart It]