I don’t have a Netflix addiction; I just spend a lot of time avoiding homework (like these blog posts) on it. Currently I’m in the middle of Grey’s Anatomy. Season 6, Episode 4, so if you’re going to comment please no spoilers!
In episode 24 of season 5, you witness Dr. Dixon go through a panic attack. To calm her down she has Dr. Yang and Dr. Bailey hug her tightly. She explains that it decreases heart rate, metabolic functions and muscle tone. Basically, it calms her down. Source.
Hugs and Hormones
When you hug someone your body releases oxytocin (also known as the “cuddle hormone”). It’s the warm and fuzzies you experience during your embrace. Source. Oxytocin is known to lower stress hormones, reduces blood pressure, increase in pain tolerance and quickens the healing process. Source. Hugs also stimulate the release of dopamine, which an endorphin linked to happiness. You also feel a rush of serotonin, which is linked with feelings of importance. Source.
Reduced blood pressure heart rate
Just by touching someone, your Pacinian corpuscles (pressure receptors) are turned on. These receptors send a signal to your vegus nerve, which then send the signal to lower your blood pressure. Source. As for your heart rate, the University of North Carolina conducted an experiment. The results show that people who didn’t have contact with their partners had a faster heart rate (10 beats per minutes) compared to those who did (5 beats per minute). Source.
Physical affection helps alleviate stress and anxiety, even if only for a brief moment. Source. As mentioned before, hugs release oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin. These 3 are endorphins that lead to happiness and feelings of security and trust. Source. There is also a correlation between hugging and less worry over existential crises. In this case, hugging, not even a person necessarily (like a teddy bear), can alleviated fear. Source. Researcher Sander Kool says, “interpersonal touch is such a powerful mechanism that even objects that simulate touch by another person may help to instill in people a sense of existential significance.” Source.
So, what you need to do is go out and hug someone. Preferably someone you know, because according the University of Vienna, hugging someone out of politeness if you don’t know them that well can have the opposite effect. Source
Now here’s the catch: if you want it to be a good hug you have to do it for 20 seconds. Source.
That’s all for now. So go have fun and hug someone.