ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Magic of hugging

Updated on December 28, 2014

Hugging is done universally to express physical intimacy between persons. It is a form of non-verbal communication and it indicates familiarity, love, affection, friendship, brotherhood or sympathy depending on the context and relationship. Hugging may demonstrate affection and emotional warmth expressing happiness when meeting someone after a long absence. A hug can range from a brief squeeze with arms around the other person to prolonged holding. Lovers normally press their hips together when hugging. Similarly, a child may hug its doll or a stuffed animal that the child likes or loves. If more than two persons are involved in hugging, it is referred to as group hug that is commonly done among friends and team mates on winning matches of games. There are many cultures in the world, in which hugging each other is frequently practiced. Conversely, many cultures don’t encourage hugging in public.

Cuddling is also one of the ways of expressing affection and closeness. Cuddling is normally done lying down whereas hugging is done standing up. Therefore, cuddling expresses more emotional closeness and intimacy between two persons than hugging.

Hugging offers great benefits that promote positivity among persons who hug each other. So, one should not hesitate to hug to deny oneself its benefits, which are many.

  1. Basically, we are wired to get assurance from touch of fellow beings. We all agree that the babies need to be hugged and cuddled frequently. This gives them feeling of security. It has been found that those, who have been hugged and cuddled frequently in their early childhood, display less stress than those, who were less hugged and cuddled. In adults too, it also offers a feeling of security.
  2. Hugging for a long period raises serotonin levels of the persons, which elevates mood and thus promotes happiness.
  3. It releases tension from the body by relaxing the muscles. Hugging can even reduce pain as it involves touching that gives reassurance to the person, who is having pain.
  4. Hugging conveys feeling of security to the person who is hugged and vice versa. Therefore, hugging makes a good investment in the relationships, encouraging empathy and understanding.
  5. It promotes closeness in our relationships, which boost our self-worth. The hugs and cuddles we receive from our near and dear remind us that we are loveable, which connects us to our ability to self-love.
  6. Hugging has been found to boost oxytocin level (also known as cuddle hormone), which is a neuropeptide that basically promotes feeling of devotion, trust and bonding.
  7. It fights depression in the persons who are hugged frequently.

Hugging, in fact, lays the biological foundation and structure for connecting to other people. It engenders the feeling of closeness in persons and since this feeling is very reassuring, we crave for it. It has been found in recent studies that friendly touches and hugging activates a region called orbital frontal cortex in the brain, located just above our eyes. The same area is also stimulated by a rewarding stimuli as well as sweet tastes and pleasing smells. The surge of oxytocin promotes a feeling of trust and connectedness. It initiates a cascade of electrical impulses that slow down the heart rate and lower the blood pressure, making one feel less stressed and more relaxed. Though hugging seems to be a simple and affectionate touch, what happens in our brains and bodies due to it is a magic.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Dr Pran Rangan profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Pran Rangan 

      3 years ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      Thanks for liking my hub.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Great post I will share this on my Facebook page. Loved the photo you used as well.

    • Dr Pran Rangan profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Pran Rangan 

      3 years ago from Kanpur (UP), India

      Thanks for your nice comments.

    • Dr Billy Kidd profile image

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I did not know hugging raised oxytocin levels.

      It's interesting that everyone wants to hug a baby.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)