Health Desk, Delhi Magazine: Hugs are extremely important for the quality and duration of life, you need to hug as much as possible, and this can be done with both people and animals. This contributes to the development of the “hormone of happiness”, which increases stress resistance, psychologists interviewed by Delhi Magazine.
According to the candidate of psychological sciences Kristina Ivanenko, hugs are important for both mental and physical health of a person, since the body produces the so-called “hormone of happiness” – oxytocin.
“Hugging releases the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin not only increases the ability to deal with stress, but also gives us a feeling of well-being, relaxation and happiness,” Ivanenko explained.
Psychologist Inna Paustovskaya also agreed with her colleague, who noted that oxytocin has a positive effect on the general well-being of a person. She added that hugging is possible not only with people, but also with animals. The practice of tactile contact with pets helps even in difficult cases – treatment through touch is practiced even in children with disabilities, with cerebral palsy, autism and other diseases.
At the same time, experts emphasize that there is no norm for hugs: the more of them, the better. A high level of oxytocin allows a person to feel that in case of trouble there is someone close who will help to overcome them.
As an example, Kristina Ivanenko recalled an experiment by the American psychologist Harry Harlow, in which newborn monkeys were weaned from their mother and divided into two groups: some grew up with a “surrogate mother” in the form of a doll made of wire, and the second mother was replaced by a soft doll with warm lamp inside. At the same time, in the second group, the animals developed absolutely normally – in case of danger, they ran to a warm doll and hugged her. The primates grew up absolutely adequate, having matured, were able to arrange their families and practically did not differ from monkeys who grew up with real parents. At the same time, the animals from the first group constantly felt stress and anxiety, which negatively affected their psychological development.
Previously, research by scientists at Shanghai University has shown that regular meditation practiced by Tibetan Buddhist monks is a mental exercise that can have beneficial effects on physical and mental health . It has a positive effect on the composition of the intestinal microbiota, which, in turn, affects brain function.