According to a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE, hugging can reduce negative feelings while increasing positive ones.
Interviewing 404 adults by phone every night for two weeks, researchers quizzed participants about their mood, whether they had been in a disagreement and whether they had a received a hug that day.
They also conducted a physical while volunteers filled out a questionnaire about their physical and social wellbeing.
Interestingly, results found that adults reported better moods on days that had received a hug while embracing others also negated negative feelings associated with confrontation.
“A very simple, straightforward behaviour — hugging — might be an effective way of supporting both men and women who are experiencing conflict in their relationships,” says co-author of the study Michael Murphy, from Carnegie Mellon University’s Laboratory for the Study of Stress, Immunity and Disease.
“Hugs, at least among 'close others', might be a simple, straightforward, effective way to show support to someone you care about who is experiencing conflict with a relationship in their life.”
So, next time you see someone you know, why not give them a hug?
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