Benefits of hugs, how many do we need a day?

benefits of hugs there are many, since these are fundamental for our survival as human beings. In an increasingly stressful and impersonal society, hugs from our loved ones are necessary for us to continue going through the best and worst experiences of our lives.

Human beings are social by nature. The social aspect, however, doesn’t just end with conversations and spending time together. The aspect of touch plays an important role when it comes to building relationships with another person.

It goes without saying that a hug is essential for our emotional well-being. If you want to know what are the benefits of hugs. keep reading! Here we will tell you everything you need to know, read until the end to find out how many hugs we need a day to take advantage of its benefits.

What is a hug?

Wrapping your arms around another person’s body can be defined as a hug. There are several variations of how one person hugs, from a tight hug with the arms fully wrapped around the other person’s body to a side hug with one arm over the other person’s shoulder.

A hug can manifest itself in different ways in different cultures. While some may have strict rules about hugging in public, others may see it as a form of social greeting. For example, in Portugal and Brazil, men often hug each other to say hello or goodbye. In many South Asian cultures, this tactile behavior between men is quite common and acceptable. In fact, it is seen as a sign of brotherhood and camaraderie.

However, in many Arab or Southeast Asian cultures, hugs from unrelated or single people can be considered immoral and unacceptable.

different types of hugs

People don’t just hug when they’re in love. The different types of hugs also vary depending on the relationship between the two people. The way you hug your partner may not be the same as the hug you share with your parents or best friends. The most common types of hugs are the following:

1. The big hug

A strong hug or handshake is common between people who share a lot of love with each other. Whether the duration of this embrace is long or short, a handshake often expresses affection and care for the other person.

2. The bear hug

In a bear hug, you wrap your arms around another person, rest your face on their chest or shoulders, and feel relaxed and happy. This type of comforting hug is not necessarily romantic, but it can be a way of expressing intimacy and affection.

3. The long hug

A long, strong hug is often an expression of protection, love, and tenderness. You would share this with your close family, friends, and significant other, but it’s not entirely out of the question to share it with a stranger who might be a comforting presence in a given situation.

4. The back hug

This could be a hug that is shared exclusively between couples. It shows a certain level of trust and care that is only common between two people in love. A hug from behind is especially intimate because you trust the other person to take care of you without you being able to see them.

5. The side hug

A side hug is when you put your arms around another person’s shoulder in a gesture that is similar to a full-fledged hug, but still has some distance between your bodies. The side hug is less intimate or romantic and is often shared between friends and acquaintances.

benefits of hugs

In addition to being a wonderful gesture, hugs also have several real benefits, both physical and psychological. Hugging keeps us healthier and happier in the following five ways.

Hugs reduce stress

Hugs are amazing ways to relieve stress. If a loved one is stressed, chances are they need a hug. When you show a person your support and care through touch, you can automatically reduce their feelings of discomfort or pain.

The act of hugging another person can make the person giving the hug feel better, too. In one study, 20 heterosexual men received electric shocks while their female partners held their arms. During the experiment, the women’s stress receptors showed reduced activity, while the part of their brain associated with maternal behavior showed increased activity. The response to hugs is considered to be similar to the responses observed in this study.

They can keep you from getting sick

In one study, researchers found that among 400 participants, those who had a stronger support system and received more hugs were less likely to get sick.

Also, those who got sick showed less severe symptoms when their support system was larger and more present. This benefit may also be related to the stress-reducing effect of a good loving hug.

make you happier

Biologically, hugs can increase the release of a hormone called oxytocin. Known by various aliases, such as the love hormone or the hug chemical, oxytocin is released when you sit near, touch, or hug someone you love.

This hormone is associated with less stress and more happiness. Reduces the stress hormone nor-epinephrine while lowering blood pressure. Some animal studies show that it also releases serotonin, known as the «happiness hormone,» which elevates mood and dispels feelings of anger and loneliness.

They are responsible for higher self-esteem

When I was a child, hugs used to signify love, affection, respect, and validation. This is why, from an early age, we associate tactile expressions of love with our self-esteem.

As adults, every time we receive hugs from our loved ones, they increase our sense of self-worth. This, in turn, helps us maintain a greater sense of self-esteem and confidence in our daily lives.

How many hugs do we need in a day?

Famous family therapist Virginia Satir is often quoted as saying that we need 12 hugs a day. In fact, since hugs have so many valuable benefits, we need to get as many of them as possible.

However, at least four hugs a day are important for us to feel good about ourselves, avoid stress and stay healthy both physically and mentally. On a typical day, you shouldn’t settle for fewer than eight hugs!