A hug a day keeps the doctor away. It is scientifically proven!
Social interaction, specifically touch, has been shown to lower the overall production of cortisol and increase oxytocin levels within a person’s body. Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone”, and we all know by now that increased levels of stress dramatically increase a person’s risk of chronic disease. Oxytocin is known as the “love hormone”, which has been shown to positively impact self-perception, ability to trust, and emotional, cognitive, and social behaviors in public settings. A hug immediately lowers blood pressure, increases positivity, and enhances warm personality traits. Yes, a simple hug can do all this! In fact, hugging has been proven so important for a person’s well-being that an invention named the “Hug-Shirt”, which conveys the sensation of a hug, was creative for those who are in long-distance communication with loved ones. This Hug-Shirt won Time magazine’s Best Invention of 2006. Before you start hugging the first person you see, let’s learn about the other incredible ways to practice social well-being.
Many of us have been working remotely due to the pandemic and lack the luxury of interacting with or hugging others daily. So, when we do get a chance to interact, we must make it count for our health. If you are unable to socialize in a public manner, book an appointment at your nearest wellness center! Therapeutic massages have shown to have the same beneficial effects of hugging, which include a decrease in cortisol and an increase in oxytocin. However, added benefits of a therapeutic massage include an increase in circulation, lymphatic drainage, the flushing of toxins, pain relief, and maximum relaxation.
Practicing positive thinking and surrounding yourself with positive thinkers has shown to be one of the best ways to increase social well-being. According to an article written by John Hopkin’s Medicine on cardiovascular disease, people with positive mindsets who had long family histories of heart disease were one-third less likely to have a heart attack than others. Along with an increase in heart health, positive thinking has been shown to improve neurological function after brain trauma, stroke, or the development of a brain tumor. If that doesn’t show the power of positivity, we’re not sure what else does!
Along with positive thinking, positive energy is just as impactful. Humans are considered mutually dependent social creatures, meaning we love to share our lives and experiences with others. Often, we reflect the energy of those around us. For example, if you were to share an experience with people who complain, insult, become angry or closed-off easily, then their negative energy is what you associate with that experience. Surrounding yourself with these energy types will cause the majority of your experiences to be remembered as negative experiences. When we share our lives with positive energy, we are more likely to get a positive response, such as reassurance, respect, support, and motivation, which fuels our mental and emotional well-being. Building a collection of experiences associated with positive energy, improves a person’s self-perception, significantly lowering his or her chance of developing anxiety and depression.
Last but never least, the Earth is a beautiful tool we seldom think to utilize when bettering our social well-being. We suggest meeting friends and family on the beach or running barefoot in the grass at a park. Socializing with nature gives your body a chance to connect with the Earth’s electromagnetic field energy, which is known as the act of “grounding”. Grounding has been shown to improve circulation, increase white blood cell count, strengthen the immune system, and lower stress levels within the body. Grounding is a natural way to decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, lower the risk of disease, and improve overall well-being in a social setting.
At OMNI Balanced Life Center, we offer our BioCharger NG and BEMER Mat Therapy which use pulsed electromagnetic field energy to mimic the benefits of “grounding.” We also offer our healing Therapeutic Massages that increase the incredible benefits of interpersonal touch, also known as, a hug! Improve your social well-being and book your next appointment at OMNI Balanced Life Center today.
Author: Vanessa Bransan
Sumioka, H., Nakae, A., Kanai, R., & Ishiguro, H. (2013). Huggable communication medium decreases cortisol levels. Scientific reports, 3, 3034. Retrieved May 18, 2021 from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3805974/
John Hopkins University. (2021). The Power of Positive Thinking. John Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved May 18, 2021 from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-power-of-positive-thinking