To put it simply it feels good to cuddle and to be cuddled.
Research provides us with evidence that shows that physical contact with others can have a positive effect on both our physical and mental health. When engage in touch or cuddles our brains produce chemicals called Serotonin and Oxytocin which are shown to make us calm and happy which then contributes to an overall sense of well being and relaxation which is pleasant and healthy.
Touch stimulates regions of our brain that are known to produce pleasant, pleasurable feelings. Studies have shown that touch can reduce stress and anxiety for up to five days after it occurs. Stress and anxiety are not good for your physical and mental health. .
Touch can play an important role in reducing stress and strengthening our immune systems. Touch can lower blood pressure. This can play an enormous role in the prevention and treatment of numerous health conditions. Touch has actually proven to be more effective than verbal social support at reducing harmful effects of stress such as elevated blood pressure, cortisol levels, and heart rate. The research is clear. Humans need touch to thrive.
Cuddling relieves pain. Just as it boosts your immune system, cuddling and releasing oxytocin will decrease your pain levels. Whenever your neck hurts, what do you do? Rub it, right? Even simple touches like that release enough oxytocin to make you feel better, so imagine the effect cuddling has!
Cuddling reduces social anxiety. Oxytocin inspires positive thinking. It helps you have an optimistic outlook on the world. Which means when you get a hug right as you arrive at the party where you only know one person, you’re going to feel happier and more social going in. You’ll feel like you can charm everyone at the party. And with oxytocin coursing through your system, you will!
Cuddling lowers your risk of heart disease. Yup—oxytocin again! All the benefits listed above add together to mean less stress, less anxiety, lower blood pressure and—you got it—a lower risk of heart disease! Because your heart is happier and not working as hard to combat the effects of stress and sickness, you’ll be healthier, longer.
Cuddling doesn’t have a definition. Cuddling doesn’t have to be between you and your romantic partner. It doesn’t even have to be with another person—you can rub your own shoulders! You can also hug friends or play with your pets. If you don’t want to be social or don’t have a furry friend, never fear! You can take a warm bath or get a massage. Feeling warm and connected by some sort of touch is enough to release oxytocin into your system and get you feelin’ good!