We all know the saying, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Well, have you heard the new one ‘A hug a day can keep infection away?’ According to a report by Medical News Today on Dec. 21, researchers have done some studies to find that when we are supported by our friends and family, and a hug is a type of support system, we get less sick and are healthier.
Apparently, according to lead author Sheldon Cohen and colleagues of the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, they found that hugging our friends and family as a way to support them as well as them hugging us as a way to support us, can help decrease our susceptibility to stress induced infection which can in turn, prevent us from getting the common cold.
The study that was done by these medical professionals and scientists was published in the journal, Psychological Science. The idea of it came from hugging providing the social support we need on a daily basis from others. When you hug someone you have a close and personal relationship with, you are not only providing them with the emotional support they need and they are doing the same for you by hugging you back, but you are both reducing the stress related infection causing you to get sick.
As a matter of fact, according to Fox News, Cohen had this to say about hugging keeping us well:
This suggests that being hugged by a trusted person may act as an effective means of conveying support and that increasing the frequency of hugs might be an effective means of reducing the deleterious effects of stress.
The apparent protective effect of hugs may be attributable to the physical contact itself or to hugging being a behavioral indicator of support and intimacy.
Either way, those who receive more hugs are somewhat more protected from infection.
So, give a friend or family member a hug today and every day to keep them from getting sick.
How do you feel about this? Do you hug your family and friends often enough? Isn’t it great that we can hug those we care most about and not only give them emotional support but help keep ourselves and them healthier as well? Sound off with your opinion on this in the comments section and let everyone know what your take is.