Cuddling feels great, doesn’t it? Be it cuddling with your partner, your baby or your pet, cuddling never fails to lift your spirits. It is a pure and beautiful expression of love that brings a lot of assurance and positivity to the relationship. Most of us love to be cuddled, kissed, hugged, and caressed while sitting idle with our loved ones. Hugging, kissing or even touching lovingly increases the level of oxytocin in our bodies (1). This hormone, also known as the ‘bonding hormone,’ may help reduce blood pressure, stress, and anxiety. Now that you know why a cuddle feels so soothing, are you curious to know the other beautiful effects cuddling has on your body? Then read on to know them all!
1. It May Improve Your Immunity
According to a report published in CNN, amongst the multitude of benefits physical touch provides, boosting up one’s immune system is one of them (2). A light massage, a gentle hug or a loving cuddle may cause the muscles to relax, heart rate to lower, blood pressure to normalize, and cortisol hormone (also known as the stress hormone) levels to dip. Basically, cortisol suppresses the immune response and by lowering its concentration in our blood, we are effectively bolstering our immunity. According to a research conducted to measure the immune system of healthy adults who either took a 45-minute long Swedish massage or were subjected to 45-minutes of light touching, the number of white blood cells ( including the ‘Natural Killer cells’ that combat infection) observed in the adults that received the Swedish massage were significantly higher (3). No wonder we all crave for a comforting touch, a cuddle or a hug when we are with a loved one.
2. It May Lower Your Blood Pressure Levels
Having a splitting headache? Stressed about something you can’t do much about? Be careful your blood pressure may be rising, and a high blood pressure means an overworked heart. But before you pop a pill to get rid of a headache, you must know that there is a much better and lasting solution than that pill. A warm hug from your partner may work as effectively as a pill, and without side effects! Also, if you feel a loved one is stressed or having problems focusing on the positive sides, make sure you give them a big warm bear hug!
3. It May Lower Your Heart Rate
Most of us enjoy comforting hugs or passionate cuddles from our partners. Upon being touched, the miracle hormone oxytocin rises, while the stress hormone called cortisol drops, all of which leads to a sense of calmness, well-being, and, yes, a drop in the heart rate (4)! So, if your heart is racing, or you are stressed about something, simply run and get a hug from your partner. It will help you calm down better than you know.
4. Your Body Pain May Vanish
Did you know that human touch can be an analgesic too? We are sure you do! Most of us have had umpteen incidents where we have tripped, fallen, and bruised ourselves, and we all carry beautiful memories of our mother kissing those bruises. Even those memories suck the pain out of you, don’t they? Reports from a study conducted by Haifa University in Israel confirm that love can be a great pain-killer indeed (5). In this study female volunteers were repeatedly touched on the ear by a hot iron rod. Some women had strangers holding their hands, some had their partners or loved ones next to them, while some had their partners stroking their hands and holding them. The women who had their partners holding and stroking their hands had tamed the pain better. Now that you know how cuddling can benefit you and your partner’s health, make sure to squeeze in as many cuddles and hug sessions, the way you squeeze in those fitness sessions and healthy foods in your daily life!
While being such a simple yet effective healer, touch has unfortunately been found to be overpowered by jealousy, anger, difference of opinions, and stress. Hence, make sure these banes of modern-day living do not creep into your lives and spoil its beauty. For a stronger heart, better confidence, and a lot more we all dream of, raise frequent cuddles to the top of your couple goals list. So who is your go to person when it comes to getting your favorite cuddles? Let us know in the comments section.Take care!