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Amazing Things A Hug Does To Your Brain That You Never Expected

Amazing Things A Hug Does To Your Brain That You Never Expected

Who Doesn’t Love A Hug?

Giving or receiving a hug is one of the best ways to feel better quickly, but have you ever stopped to wonder exactly how hugging works? Read on to discover the science of feeling better via the power of human touch.

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Why Hugs Are Magic – What They Do To Your Brain

Let’s take a closer look at what goes on inside your body when someone hugs you. When someone touches you, they activate pressure receptors within your skin. Known as Pacinian corpuscles, these receptors fire signals to your vagus nerve. This feels so good because the vagus nerve is an area within your brain that plays a vital role in regulating many of your body’s key functions such as blood pressure. When you are hugged, your blood pressure drops as a result of this vagus nerve stimulation and this helps you feel calmer.

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Dopamine is another important factor. When we are hugged, our brains release dopamine. Also known as ‘the pleasure hormone,’ dopamine induces feelings of reward, safety and general satisfaction. Findings published in the journal ‘Developmental Review’ suggest that hugging can boost ‘happy hormones’ in the brain, lower blood pressure, and lessen feelings of stress. The positive effects of a hug can be immediate – within seconds of being touched in an affectionate way, the average person will begin to feel less stressed, according to a report published in ‘Scientific Reports.’ Hugs also lower the amount of cortisol – also known as the ‘stress hormone’ – released by the body.

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So if you feel anxious, stressed or in need of a psychological boost then why not ask a loved one for a hug today? Both of you will benefit. So get hugging!

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More by this author

Jay Hill

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on October 9, 2018

27 Ways to Instantly Feel Better When You’re Down

27 Ways to Instantly Feel Better When You’re Down

Who has never gone through some ups and downs in the life? But some people can feel better in a quicker way than others because they’ve found their own remedies to heal the bad feelings.

If you haven’t found yours, these ways will help you instantly feel better and ditch that negative self talk when you’re feeling bad about yourself:

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  1. Listen to the songs you loved when you were in high school or university, this will recall you of the old good times.
  2. Write something. Write down how you feel as a way to express your thoughts if you don’t feel like talking to anyone.
  3. Draw something. Draw anything you want because no one’s going to judge your drawing skills.
  4. Read the postcards or letters your friends or family sent you before, remind yourself there are people who always remember you.
  5. Silently think of a day or moment which you truly enjoyed and try to recapture that very first feeling. Was it the day of your graduation? The moment you traveled with your loved one?
  6. Take out your photo albums and go over your childhood photos.
  7. Cry when you feel like doing so. There’s nothing wrong with crying; cry out all your fear and stress and just face the truth after crying.
  8. Sing loudly like no one can hear you. Do you know that in Japan, people always sing karaoke to relieve stress?
  9. Cook a nice meal for yourself or for your family.
  10. Read your previous diary entries and look at your great memories.
  11. Dress up nicely to feel happier.
  12. Don’t stay in your bed! Get your laptop or a book and sit in a coffee place.
  13. Take a walk outside and feel the fresh air.
  14. Sweat yourself! Go jogging or play some sports.
  15. Pick up the musical instrument you used to play a lot and start to play it.
  16. Tidy up your desk or wardrobe, you’ll feel good that you’re being productive and actually doing something.
  17. Watch some funny videos, sure you can find a lot of them on Youtube.
  18. Eat something you like, be it a chocolate cake, or an ice-cream. Just please yourself with the flavour you like.
  19. Re-read your favorite book and write down the sentences or passages that you love.
  20. Watch a new movie, there must be a movie which you’ve always interested in but had no time to watch it.
  21. Do something nice that no one will notice, say picking up a rubbish in the street and throw it to a trash bin.
  22. Call your best friend and just talk whatever you want! Human beings are social animals after all, connecting with people close to you will make you feel better.
  23. Do voluntary work and help people in need, you’ll feel happy and satisfied.
  24. Get drunk with your close friends at home – a safe place for you to get drunk and get crazy. Let loose and have fun with your very close friends.
  25. Write an email or a note to a friend who you care about.
  26. Get out of your routine life and meet new friends. Get out of your comfort zone! Meeting new people can give you new inspirations in life.
  27. Look into the mirror and smile. Act like today’s already a wonderful day. How we act affects how we feel. It’s difficult to go on feeling sad if you’re trying to smile!

Remember:

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It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.  — Epictetus

If you want to feel better, change what you’re doing because obviously what you’re doing doesn’t make you happy!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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