At Elf for Christmas we truly know the power of a good hug. That’s why we made our magical little Christmas elf toys so incredibly huggable.
So, for National Hugging Day on January 21, we’ll be enjoying all our usual daily hugs – but now we have scientific evidence to back us up on the benefits of hugging!
Here are Elf for Christmas’s top 5 benefits of hugging:
- A hug makes our bodies release the “cuddle hormone”. Oxytocin, known as the cuddle hormone, is associated with feelings of happiness and love. A good hug will give you a surge of oxytocin which, according to DePauw University psychologist Matt Hertenstein, “promotes feelings of devotion, trust and bonding”.
- Hugging makes us feel good about ourselves and boosts self-esteem. The hugs we receive as babies make us feel loved and safe and those feelings remain imprinted on us. Hugs later in life remind us of that at a somatic level.
- Hugs can lower your blood pressure. The pressure of someone touching you activates pressure receptors in the skin called Pacinian corpuscles. These receptors send signals to the vagus nerve in the brain, which in turn sends signals to tell the heart to slow down and decrease blood pressure.
- Hugging can reduce pain. The endorphins released when you share a cuddle with someone can actually relieve pain! Endorphins are neurotransmitters that stimulate opiate receptors in the brain – the same receptors that drugs such as morphine and codeine interact with to reduce our perception of pain.
- Lots of hugs create smarter children! Scientists have proved high levels of affection from mums actually increases the size of the hippocampus in children’s developing brains by up to 10%. The hippocampus is thought to be the centre of emotion, memory, and the autonomic nervous system, so it’s pretty important!
So there we have it – five very good reasons to celebrate National Hugging Day with your little elves!