Do You Need A Hug?
Why You Need A Hug
The reassuring hand you reach for in times of trouble has more power than you know: It calms areas of the brain that register alarm, finds a research from the University of Virginia and the University of Wisconsin.
Neuroscientists put 16 married women in a stressful situation (they knew they'd receive mild electric shocks). When a friendly male volunteer held their hand, scans showed less activity in the parts of the brain that respond to danger. The effect was even greater when the hand belonged to the participant's spouse.
"It may be that your mind relaxes because someone is there to help," explains lead researcher James Coan, PhD, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at UV. Other forms of touch—a hug, a shoulder rub—may also ease an anxiety-ridden experience and even reduce the amount of stress hormones the brain produces.
Video: 10 Types Of Hugs And What They Really Mean
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