Wanted: Hugs for Health
You only need to click on the news for a few seconds to realize that there are endless topics to write about this month. However, on the radio this morning one story caught my attention and inspired this post. It noted that almost 70% of people who are working
remotely due to the pandemic are “over it” and are desperate to get back to the office for much-needed human contact.
Social isolation is taxing, and even though essential workers like our team at Phinney Lumber have the benefit of seeing our co-workers every day despite the pandemic, we, too, are feeling the strain of this new normal.
This brings us to our blog topic this month: hugging! January 21 is National Hugging Day, and, as a family business, we are no stranger to hugs. Judging by the story on the radio this morning, the whole country is probably in need of a steady supply of feel-better hugs.
Hugging is not just a sentimental idea; science has been studying the surprising health benefits of daily hugs for decades. If you have been holding out on handing out hugs, consider this:
Hugging lowers your blood pressure by decreasing cortisol levels and activating pressure receptors which signal the brain relax the body.
Hugging boosts your immune system by stimulating the production of white blood cells, helping to prevent inflammation, and releasing Oxytocin, the feel-good “cuddle hormone.” If you do get sick, hugging has been proven to reduce the duration and severity of illness.
Hugging eases pain by relaxing muscles and balancing the nervous system. Hugs have even been credited with speeding up the healing of wounds!
Hugs do wonders for mental health, as well, by reducing stress and depression, increasing trust and self-esteem, elevating mood and alleviating loneliness, fear, and social anxiety. Hugs just make you happier.
Now that the vaccine is available we can begin to imagine that an end is in sight; but while we are waiting for a much-awaited return to normal, maybe we should all hug our housemates a little more just to power us through!