Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Power of Cuddles

One of my most favourite things to do is cuddle! I love a good cuddle. A cuddle with my husband, my mum, my dog, cuddling into my duvet or pillow.... Cuddling is awesome. It makes me feel closer to someone, safer, happier, more relaxed, comfortable and warm. So I decided to look into my theory that a good cuddle makes everything seem ok again.

Cuddling releases a hormone called Oxytocin; the happy hormone. Not only does this hormone lift your mood, it also relieves pain and boosts your immune system. It's actually healthy both mentally and physically to have a good snuggle. Mental illnesses can be very physically painful too due to a number of symptoms and side effects so if cuddling is the medicine I'm down for that!

Oxytocin also helps with anxiety and stress as it makes you think more positively. Before making big stressful decisions or even little ones while you're feeling anxious it might be best to have a hug first. A big squeeze, a few deep breaths, then enjoy the cuddle before tackling what you need to do.

Cuddling helps build and strengthen relationships. Have you been pushing people away because you are stressed or due to mental illness? Go give them a hug. Actions speak so much louder than words. A cuddle can say "I'm here" "thank you" "I love you" "you're amazing". There's science behind why cuddles help build bonds due to the Oxytocin release.

Cuddling also releases Dopamine which is a hormone linked with excitement and sexual desire, as well as releasing Endorphins which are normally released after a good workout in the gym or eating chocolate, these are the 'buzz' we feel, If you are finding your intimate relationship is struggling take some time to just cuddle and reconnect.

After researching cuddling I can see why sometimes I'm so needy for a hug. When I feel anxious I need to hug someone or something. I once had a panic attack at work where someone rather lovely came over and gave me a hug. It helped so, so much! Thank you lovely lady, you know who you are. When I get nervous or scared a hug helps me feel safe again. And whenever I feel fine, happy, calm, excited, positive.... I still love a good snuggle!

So go hug it out! I'm sending you a big virtual squeeze right now :)

Much love,
Becky xx

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