Hugging plays a crucial part in bonding. COVID-19 has affected our lives in many ways, but I don’t think we realized how the inability to hug would affect us. I am not too concerned about avoiding handshakes and high-fives, but hugging is one of my basic needs. Positive physical touch makes for feel-good moments, and I’ve been denied hugs for months.
Scientists say hugging reduces stress. It boosts hormone levels and promotes mental well-being, which plays an essential role in bonding.
Hugging helps us to bond
It is all very scientific, with different hormones we release, but the bottom line is that hugging helps bonding, building trust, feel generous, and it reduces anxiety.
Hugging promotes mental health
When we anticipate activities that we enjoy, our bodies release other hormones that, if disrupted, could cause mental illnesses, depression and suicidal behavior.
Effects of no hugging
No studies exist of depriving people to touch or hug. However, studies have delved into the impact of naturally occurring cases of limited or no touch. For instance, scientists observed children in institutional care where caregivers do not provide positive touch. Studies showed that some children in such circumstances had developmental and cognitive delays. Moreover, the identified delays affected children long after adoption.
Most importantly, the lack of physical touch showed an increased probability of aggressive behavior. A study of preschool children and their parents in playgrounds compared U.S. children and French children. They observed less touching between U.S. parents and their children than French families. Furthermore, the U.S. children were more aggressive, both verbally and physically, towards their peers and parents. In contrast, the French children who received more positive touching from their parents did not show the same aggression.
In the meantime….
While physical touch remains a no-no, we can maintain our hugging and touching of people with whom we live. Scientists say hugging can even positively affect one’s mood during conflicts. Studies show that children who receive constant positive touch have better self-control, pro-social skills and happiness. These are all behaviors that benefit themselves and others. Furthermore, adults who received affection and hugs while they grew up will do the same for their children. They also seem to become adults who behave pro-socially, display positive views of others and themselves, and are more likely to form long-lasting relationships.
Staying in touch with loved ones gets the feel-good hormones going, and for those who live alone, hugging your pet can help a lot.
In short, this is all very interesting, but I don’t really care what the scientists say.
All I want is permission to hug my grandchildren and their parents whenever I want!