Research shows that kissing, hugging, snuggling, and holding hands produce more than just magical moments. They can actually boost overall health, helping you lose weight, lower blood pressure, fight off sickness, and more. Should you do not have a human cuddle buddy, fret not, as snuggling with pets has been shown to produce similar results as snuggling with the people you love!    

When we cuddle, our body releases a hormone known as oxytocin. Oxytocin is the one which produces a warm fuzzies – feelings of connection, bonding, and trust.  


*Hug your way to a healthier heart*   

Studies found that one who hug their partners more often have a lower resting blood pressure than one who rarely engaged in physical touch. A healthy blood pressure is critical in fending off heart disease!


*Hugs & Kisses for better sleep*   

Oxytocin has the ability to regulate sleep patterns, and it has been found to allow one to fall asleep quickly and staying asleep. 


*Hold hands, weigh less*

Oxytocin is one of the several appetite-related hormones which is released after a well-rounded meal. Hence when oxytocin is released when hugging, kissing, and holding hands, it sends the same message to our brain and body to stop eating. 


*Cuddling = less stress*

On top of increasing oxytocin, cuddling reduces the release of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone which is associated with depression and various other mental and physical ailments. Therefore, when you make physical contact, the feel good oxytocin floodgates open and the urge to feel weary (cortisol) is subdued, leading to a calmer state.  


*Snuggle away sickness*   

Cortisol leads to a weakened immune system and increase the risk of getting sick. Oxytocin which is released during physical contact has the ability to undo cortisol’s effects and restore the body’s balance, improving immune function and increase the odds of fighting viruses and infections. 


Article was first published in https://www.pennmedicine.org/u...