A hug a day will keep the doctor away!
Did you know that hugging and being hugged has a tremendous positive impact on your health? Researchers from Carnegie Mellon tried to figure out if hugging could protect stressed people from getting a common cold. They found out that, in fact, when someone is hugged by a trusted person the chances of getting sick are reduced by 1/3, particularly because the hug of a trusted person is also an indicator of social support. If we think that hugging releases oxytocin (hormone responsible for bonding, love and connection) and that oxytocin has a reducing effect on the production of cortisol then it makes sense that hugs will prevent us from getting sick! This is the case, because cortisol works as an anti-inflammatory which is pumped into our body when we are stressed. When the stress goes away, the cortisol drops drastically and its anti-inflammatory properties! Therefore, to avoid the cortisol to go up in the first instance, hugging can be a great antidote for stress, and ultimately preventing us from getting sick. So, in these cold days all we need is a hot beverage and tons of cuddles!