Not all that is physical between a couple is sexual too, although lust is a big and important factor in your relationship. Still, the best relationships also include a kind of physical intimacy that isn’t necessarily sexual, and it isn’t even limited to your significant other. Cuddling is more than just cutesy hugging and a convenient way to share body heat on a cold, rainy day. It actually comes with health benefits, which are backed up by science.
Keep reading to learn about what cuddling does for your health and your body.
1. It combats depression.
Let’s face it, we all have those nights where we feel we just need to ugly cry. Cuddling, on the other hand, rids you of that need. During cuddle time, your body releases oxytocin, a hormone in charge of making you feel happy and connected to others. This is why with the release of this hormone through cuddling you are able to strengthen bonds and fight off depression at the same time. Reward yourself with a good laugh along with some snuggles instead of wallowing in sadness.
2. It reduces stress.
A long day at work or at school leaves you feeling stressed and tired. Instead of eating your feelings, why not hug it out? Have someone with you and snuggle into them or vice versa. Guaranteed you will feel your stress float away, as you bury your face in the nook of someone’s neck.
3. It strengthens your immune system.
It doesn’t beat a balanced diet and exercise regiment when it comes to keeping you strong and disease-resistant, but if you’re sick, a good long cuddle session could help you on the road to feeling better. A study showed that those exposed to illnesses have better recovery rates because of their strong support system and affection with their loved ones.
4. It lowers your blood pressure.
Intense situations tend to make us do irrational things. Rapid heartbeats and high blood pressure is a recipe for disaster. A study published in Biological Psychology has shown that women who get more cuddles have lower blood pressure. So before making the mistake of throwing a fit, have someone cuddle with you for a good 20 seconds—feel the world slow down along with your heartbeat and feel a lot better in no time.
5. It helps with tissue repair.
Thanks to the fact that cuddling encourages the production of oxytocin, the body is able to recover quicker. The hormone is needed for muscle maintenance and regeneration. With regular cuddles, your body becomes better at regaining strength and self-recovery.
Rather than thinking of cuddling as something reserved for the aftermath of bedroom pleasure, why not enjoy it for its own sake? Cuddle with your guy as you fall asleep at night or in the morning. And if you’re not in a relationship? There’s no reason to get fraternally cuddlesome with family and friends—or even snuggle down with your pet!