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Love and Hugs - Health for the Body, Mind and Heart

Healthcare comes first and foremost. It is so much wiser to look at prevention as often as possible, before we need the cure.

Born From a Hug

Would you consider being in your mother's womb a hug? Certainly, it looks to be for the fetus's we can now view moving around in there. So it well could be our first nine months of hugs. Then it is said we spend our first three years after birth being hugged often, considered a baby still.

So the beginning of our lives are all about hugs except for some very unlucky ones, but this article is for most of us who remember hugs and love. Even if we do not remember, may it have helped form who we grew up to be? How important are all these hugs from parents, grandparents, family members and then friends, to eventual romantic hugs?

Can love and touch affect us spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically? Let us look at what love and hug's effects are on us. Perhaps more than you ever dreamed.


Hugs and Health

Hugs are a great way of healing. Research shows that hugging is particularly effective in healing sickness, disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety, and stress. Heartfelt hugs also are helpful in many ways.

1. The human touch of a hug forms trust and a sense of protection, helping with open and honest communication.

2. Hugs increase oxytocin levels, healing loneliness, seclusion, and resentment.

3. Extending a hug boosts one's serotonin levels, lifting mood and happy feelings.

4. Hugs make the immune system stronger. The tender pressure on the sternum and passionate charge this builds triggers the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, that controls and steadies the body's production of white blood cells, that make us well and disease free.

5. Hugs enhance self-esteem, with touch and hugs from the time we are born being shown love and affection. We are taught love through hugs of affection by all those around us. Love comes from many people in many forms.

6. Hugs relax us and let tensions go in the body. They can also relieve aches and pain.

7. Hugs steady our nervous system, giving us a more balanced state of being.

8. Hugs teach us how to give and take, being equal to others for what we ourselves want.

9. Hugs connect us to our heart and feelings.

10. The vital give and take between people hugging is a practice in learning to share and bond with each other.

A Hugging Need

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Love and Health

Love lowers blood pressure and stress levels! Happily married couples have lower blood pressure than unmarried people, while unhappily married couples have higher blood pressure than both groups. This is according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.

This is not limited only to love between romantic couples but close friendships among loving friends have the same effect! People with quality friendships, a study found, had lower blood pressure than their less social equals.

To be in love has proven to lessen a person's chances of being depressed. People who were recently married averaged 3.42 points lower on the 84-point depression scale than unmarried people, according to a study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Just being with your partner you love can lower the risk of mental health issues. Among women, a 2005 study showed of the middle-aged women living with someone they loved lowered the risk of psychological problems, as well as being married would.

Couples in love have fewer visits to the doctor than those without love. A Wilkes University study showed that having sex at least once a week raised your levels of IgA [the antibody that fights sicknesses and keeps us healthy [WebMD]. The hormone, Oxytocin, which is released when we kiss or touch someone we love, could be responsible, too. It can suppress stress hormones and boost immunity, studies prove. Supposing it is not just the sex, but the closeness, which also extends to friends and close relationships.

Married couples have a longer lifespan than unmarried couples, with married men half as likely to suffer from a heart attack. Both married men and women have extremely lower rates of serious ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s and lung disease. This is according to the National Longitudinal Mortality Study.


Love and Mental Health

Love makes us feel worthy and valuable, giving us the nerve to take chances on things such as marriage and having children. To leave our comfort zone and walk away to a new life! It gives us a sense of self-worth, courage to reach out and grab life by the tail! We can commit with love, learn patience and form attachments.

Love allows us to cope with life’s downers, such as loss and sadness, illness and despair. Love allows us hope and gives us the strength to put up with bad things and a desire to make them better. Love helps us turn it all around to bring happiness out of sad situations.

Love plays a major role in mental health. You can appear to have everything but without love, what does any of it mean? Love is from the heart but consumes our mental well being. It is a must to mental survival. Nothing matters without love.

We should give this as much consideration as our medication, and maybe more so. Perhaps we do not give love the credit it deserves in our well being.

Train Your Brain for Health

Hugs That Never End


Will a Hug a Day Keep the Doctor Away

Looks like there is a good chance of it!

According to one study, a hug can be a good treatment to warm your heart. An experiment at the University of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, showed ones who didn’t have any contact with their partners developed a quickened heart rate of ten beats per minute compared to five beats per minute with those who got to hug their partners during this experiment.

Hugging and physical touch become increasingly important with age. University psychologist Janice Kiecolt-Glaser told USA Today, “The older you are, the more fragile you are physical, so contact becomes increasingly important for good health."

Studies show that loneliness, especially with age, may increase stress and have bad health effects, too. Hugging someone makes us immediately feel closer to that person and lessons those lonely feelings.

Many requiring therapy in life do so from a result of a lack of love. We must all feel loved to be fulfilled in life. Love gives us something very special in just small or simple things.

So from birth (perhaps before) touch (hugs) and love, are a must, for a healthy mind, body, and heart. Are hugs and love enough to keep the doctor away?

Tests and scientific studies appear to prove that they do!


People Getting Hugs Get Sick Less Often


5-ways-that-love-is-good-for-your-health Love

love-and-mental-health Mental Well-being

health-benefits-of-huggin Touch

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Jackie Lynnley


Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 01, 2020:

Jackie Lynnley You have not written hubs in a long time hope all is well with you

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on June 26, 2019:

Thank you Kathi, this was a fun article I learned a lot from myself. Glad you enjoyed it! Great to see you.

I think it was your mother I used to love to read and now I am sorry to say I cannot even remember who that is. Just getting old I guess!

Kathi Mirto from Fennville on June 24, 2019:

Wow, I didn't realize hugs had that many health benefits and there are actual studies! Great information Jackie! ♥

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on October 02, 2018:

Thank you Aaron. I believe it has been a good while since I have seen you! Glad you stopped by to read me.

Aaron Rushing from USA- Florida on October 02, 2018:

Jackie great research. The thins I didn't know I didn't know. Friendship is a beautiful gift and hugs are a part of that gift. Thanks for sharing

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on May 27, 2018:

Thank you Sneha, so pleased you received joy from this article. Hugs are so important to many who don't even know it, I believe!

Sneha Sunny from India on May 26, 2018:

This was such a sweet read. I do believe that hugs are really powerful. And I know, when I'm sad, all I crave is a hug.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on February 18, 2018:

That is so true Peggy and I think we should go out of our way with those hugs for the elderly! Many may never get touched or hugged and if we don't feel a hug is right a pat or rub on the back with kind words might do wonders.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 18, 2018:

Hugs can indeed be healing. We have a psychologist friend who gives the longest hugs of anyone we know. Sometimes people forget about the simple things like the power of touch.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on January 27, 2018:

I am all for hugs, they are so important for all of us to children, parents, spouses and friends, Ray.

Ray Van Hoff from Michigan U.S.A. on January 26, 2018:

I love hugs. I like to hug my boy everyday. Men hug too.

Great hub!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on January 22, 2018:

Thank you Dora and I agree on that quote. That exact right time one might make us break down in tears sometimes, but they are happy ones.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 22, 2018:

I believe in contact and connectedness as prescriptions for good health. Thanks for this important reminder. Beautiful picture of that couple and I know that the Sarah Ockler quote is true.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on January 21, 2018:

I agree Kari. thank you.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on January 21, 2018:

Love is so important to our health, and what better way to share it than a hug. :)

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on January 21, 2018:

Thank you, Bill. It really was a pleasure putting this together and learning so much, myself.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on January 21, 2018:

That was so interesting, Jackie. A lot of good, practical information that i really never thought about before or was aware of. Thanks!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on January 19, 2018:

Thanks Linda. I do believe there are many out there who would love a hug and probably will not get one Perhaps we can all look around for that someone? I think I will.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 19, 2018:

Hugs between two people who are fond of each other and who appreciate the contact can be a wonderful form of interaction. Thanks for reminding us of the value of hugs, Jackie.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on January 19, 2018:

Paula, thank you! I had hugger families too growing up and an aunt and cousin who were slobbery kissers, but hey, you just accepted it and wiped your face when no one was looking! I always smile at those memories and know that yes, every word of this is true!

Thanks again! Great to see you.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on January 19, 2018:

Hugs right back at you Bill. I don't think I would ever mistake you for a dirty old man!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on January 19, 2018:

Glad you agree Peg, we all really know deep down i think just what the right hug means!

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on January 19, 2018:

Thank you shanmarie, I loved your hug...and one back to you!

Suzie from Carson City on January 19, 2018:

Jackie.....I absolutely love this article. I smiled through every word....a topic close to my heart. Nearly every single person I was exposed to during my childhood were hugging fiends! We never entered a room without being grabbed, hugged and kissed by each & every person....friends, family & even meeting new people. Fully demonstrative & affectionate people (a lot of Italians!! LOL).....It's what we knew and what we did.

As I grew into adulthood and became acquainted with the "rest of the world," of course I realized that not everyone is touchy, feely. I'll never change however, nor will the waning number of family members I still have. 2 of my adult cousins & I meet about once a month just to keep in touch. We immediately give bear hugs, a kiss on the cheek and say "I love you."....and then again when we are saying Good Bye. My cousin Barb once laughed & whispered to me, "I wonder what the rest of these people in this restaurant think about 3 grown women hugging & kissing each other?" My response was "Who cares?....they may even be jealous!!" LOL

I'm just a hugger....period. I'll hug anyone willing to accept! If they get the wrong idea, I can always set them straight.

I have seen people standing on a crowded, busy street, holding a sign that says "FREE HUGS." It warms my heart to see people responding to that & happily sharing a hug!!

I strongly believe in every last word of your great article and THANK YOU for writing it!!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 19, 2018:

In this time of inappropriate touching, I'm a hugger. I believe in hugs, and I still risk offending the "appropriate police" by hugging people...and Bev is more of a hugger than I am, if that's even possible. :)

Sending you a hug from Olympia

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on January 19, 2018:

As always, your choice of beautiful photos and quotes enhance this information-filled reminder about physical love and the importance of hugs. Hugs always make me feel better and serve to comfort in times of sorrow and happiness.

Shannon Henry from Texas on January 18, 2018:

Haha! Thanks for the laugh, Jackie. Hugs for you now. ;)

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on January 18, 2018:

I was extremely shy as a child and it did take me years to get over that, shanmarie. I have come a long way too. Doubt I ever get to where I should be but I think I can work around it. Don't think I will ever be a hug everybody person. I do love to hug old people but even have to watch some of the older men. haha

Shannon Henry from Texas on January 18, 2018:

Maybe so. Get more hugs from those we are comfortable with , that is. Can't argue with better health. :) I also try to be aware of the various love languages because that helps. I used to not even verbally express affection very often to people other than family. I do that quite often as an adult now. Though there have been a few people who surprised me by responding with a hug to something I said or did for them. People I would not have imagined would because I don't typically see them touching others. You know what I mean. Some people are so comfortable with touch to show affection that they often touch or pat someone when talking or things like that. Then again, hugs are a natural to those with the love language of touch and it isn't just for particularly touching situations. No pun intended.

Jackie Lynnley (author) from the beautiful south on January 18, 2018:

I do understand shanmarie, I am that way too, especially strangers but often with people I know too. It does not come naturally. Probably the way our mothers brought us up. It is good to know these facts though and they do make sense. Maybe we just need to hug those we have no problem with a lot more?

Shannon Henry from Texas on January 18, 2018:

I have mixed feelings about hugs. I am sentimental. Very much so and often emotionally sensitive. However, I am not much of a touchy feely person in person, if that makes sense. Unless I know someone really well. Just makes me self-consciousness. That said, I love hugs and the sentiment of one.

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