9 Things You Didn’t Know About Cuddling

Posted by on Feb 19, 2014 in Featured, Health | Comments Off on 9 Things You Didn’t Know About Cuddling

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Did you feel like cuddling with your sweetheart after getting red roses, cinnamon hearts and chocolate this past Valentine’s day? Not only does snuggling feel good, it’s good for your health too. Here are nine reasons why you should have a good snuggle every day of the year.

1. Cuddling releases oxytocin.

When you are cuddling your brain releases oxytocin, a “feel-good” hormone secreted by the pituitary gland, increasing your overall happiness.

2. Cuddling lowers blood pressure.

As oxytocin levels rise the hormones that keep you ready for action are affected, allowing our blood pressure to drop. This means that while you are cuddling, your blood pressure and breathing will slow down, putting less pressure on your heart.

3. Cuddling lowers cortisol levels reducing stress.

Although the release of cortisol is useful for helping your body with stress, too much cortisol can negatively influence your mood, weight and your heart. Poor stress management can keep cortisol levels high even when we don’t need it, and cuddling is a great way to keep cortisol levels low, decreasing stress!

4. Cuddling reduces social anxiety.

With the release of the feel-good hormone oxytocin, we are more likely to have an optimistic outlook on connecting with others, and an easier time trusting those around us. On top of that, the reassurance of someone else’s touch, even something as simple as a pat on the back, is one of the easiest ways to boost your self-esteem!

5. Cuddling boosts your memory.

Did you know your memory does not function well when you are stressed?  By taking the time to cuddle with someone you love you allow your body to de-stress, reducing cortisol levels, making it easier for your brain to take-in new information.

6. Cuddling helps relieve pain and raises your pain threshold.

When you stub your toe or jam your finger, what is the first thing you do? You grab your foot or rub your finger with your other hand right? This self-stimulation also triggers a release of oxytocin and helps us deal with the pain. So next time someone hurts themselves, the simple gesture of holding their hand or offering them a hug may do more to reduce their pain than you think!

7. Cuddling protects against inflammation and oxidative stress.

Oxidative stress is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract their harmful effects. This can lead to many health problems including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, different types of cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, as well as atherosclerosis, heart failure and heart attacks. Cuddling is a great way to maintain a balance between your body’s free radical production and it’s ability to neutralize them using antioxidants.

8. Cuddling boosts your immune system.

By stimulating the release of oxytocin, cuddling and touch increase your optimism, boosting your immune system because you feel too good and too healthy to get sick. Looks like the power of positive thinking actually works!

9. Cuddling reduces the risk of heart disease.

Because the release of oxytocin reduces blood pressure, cortisol levels, and stress, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard, therefore reducing your risk of heart disease.

Remember that cuddling doesn’t have to be between you and a romantic partner, or even with another person. Rubbing your own shoulders, giving someone a hug, going for a massage, playing with a pet, or taking a bath are also great ways to feel warm and connected.

For more information or to view the sources used in this blog please visit the following articles.

8 Health Benefits of Cuddling
5 Ways Cuddling Makes us Healthier
10 Surprising Benefits of Cuddling 



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