Did you know that the benefits of cuddling are actually really great for your health? That’s right, the second you touch someone else, the posterior lobe of your pituitary gland (at the base of your brain) secretes a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone makes us feel good, and is often referred to as the “cuddle hormone.” When we secrete oxytocin, a whole slew of health benefits ensue. The release of oxytocin makes us feel great, as if nothing can harm us, and allows for the release of germ and disease fighting hormones — increasing our immune systems. Oxytocin is also a natural pain reliever that helps to raise our pain threshold. When cuddling with another, one will experience a lowering of anxiety, blood pressure, and cortisol in our hearts. Furthermore, it protects against inflammation and oxidative stress. There really is no negative benefit from cuddling, even if you are single.
There are several ways to benefit from cuddling if you do not have a significant other. Cuddling can take place with anyone at any capacity, be it a rub on the back, or even you rubbing yourself on the back. There are several alternative ways to increase the secretion of oxytocin in the body without another human being. You could cuddle with a pet and receive the same results, or even take a warm bath. If human interaction from someone other than yourself is a personal necessity, why not try getting a massage, or hugging a friend?
Cuddling can bring new depth to personal relationships whether they are romantic or platonic. It can also help women to increase their bond with other human beings, in particular, their babies. This has become a popular form of therapy for women struggling with post-partum depression. Not only can cuddling reduce stress, it has also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. It is clear to see that your lifespan development depends on the amount of cuddle time you allow into it, and the positivity of the relationships you hold most dear to you. So before you second guess giving that special someone a hug, remind yourself of the health benefits you will be extending to not only yourself, but the receiver of you affections as well.
Want more tips on fun ways to increase your longevity? Check out our other blog posts! Until then, get out there and hug someone, or at least give yourself a nice pat on the back. You deserve it.