When stress is upon us, and life is a fury, we need to engage. Cortisol is a stress hormone that helps put us in a flight or fight mode. But, there are times when we are mentally stuck in a loop and continue to fret, worry, stress, and produce too much cortisol. This can lead to anxiety and depression.
How do we reduce our cortisol levels? Simple, all we need is a hug. If a person has no underlying medical conditions causing an over-production of cortisol, then a hug will reduce the stress hormone in our system. Our brain releases oxytocin when we embrace each other, which reduces stress, anxiety, and cortisol.
With reduced stress, our immune system has a chance to heal. This also leads to quicker recoveries from injuries. Who knew a simple act of kindness could do so much? In case you’re wondering, this works for both the hugger and the hugged. And, oxytocin is released when we embrace a pillow, bear (teddy type, not the wild one), or ourselves.
On top of releasing the “cuddle” hormone, serotonin is released, which is our “feel good” hormone. This takes advantage of the reduced cortisol and brings us to our “happy place.” Who couldn’t use a little time there, right?
With all of this said, I’d like to interject with a word of caution. Don’t force-hug others. If a person doesn’t want a hug, don’t give it to them anyway. Their brain isn’t going to chemically convince them that they are wrong and we’re right. Life doesn’t happen that way. Don’t do that. On the flip-side, it’s alright not to want a hug. Not everyone likes to have someone else’s arms wrapped around them like two pythons fighting over a meal. We all have bubbles, and not everyone is welcomed to enter. A hug has its benefits if done correctly. Be respectful, and hug only those who want to be embraced. Together, with understanding, we can make this place a better world. After all, we are one hug away from happiness.
Until the next blog, live life, be happy, and click like.