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Hug Day, don't underestimate the benefits of cuddling

KONTAN.CO.ID – JAKARTA. Have you hugged today? Every January 21, people in America observe National Hug Day.

Hugging does make us feel warm. In addition, there are many benefits that we can get from hugging. Starting from reducing depression to fostering a sense of security.

1. Reduce loneliness

When we hug someone close to us, the brain releases oxytocin. This ocsticin is known as the “bond molecule” because it can increase feelings of intimacy and help stimulate social bonds between two humans.

High oxytocin levels can promote romance, reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Cognitive neuroscience professor Brian Hare says cuddling a dog can provide these benefits.

“Dogs are somehow able to amplify this oxytocin binding pathway, so just by making eye contact, or playing and cuddling our dog, the oxytocin will rise,” he said.

2. Relieves anxiety and depression

As well as oxytocin, research shows someone’s hug can release dopamine, the happy hormone, in the brain.

People with mood disorders, such as depression, usually have low dopamine levels.

3. Fight stress

This benefit has been proven through research in 2014 by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, USA, involving 404 people.

As a result, those who often hugged their stress levels reduced. This happened because participants felt a greater level of social support as a result of regular hugging. (ARISKA PUSPITA ANGGRAINI)

This article was published on Kompas.com with the title “Hugging Day, Don’t Underestimate the Benefits of Hugging”