If you failed to get a flu shot this year, you should cuddle up. New research suggests that you can inoculate yourself from common diseases with hugs. It seems counterintuitive, especially since germs are easily spread through physical contact. But researchers from Carnegie Mellon are convinced a new study shows hugs and other forms of social support actually prevent illness. They exposed 400 random individuals to a cold or flu virus through nasal drops, then quarantined them for a week in a hotel.
Meanwhile, they asked the participants about how much support and physical contact they had received recently. Those who felt more supported by their loved ones--and received more hugs--were significantly less susceptible to stress-induced infections.
Actually, hugs have long been scientifically-associated with stress relief. When we embrace others, oxytocin is released into our brains, making us feel more secure and trusting towards each other. It’s known as “the bonding hormone,” and when it’s released it lowers our cortisol levels, reducing stress. But never before have hugs been shown to protect against disease. So while flu shots are still the best bet for avoiding sickness, it can't hurt to augment your prevention routine with as many hugs as you can get!
Helpful hint from The Daily Curio, thank you. Red Hat Society Members are hugging PROs!
Ready to attend the greatest, most joyful event for women in the world? Let this serve as your official invitation to Eat Dessert First at the Red Hat Society's 2016 Remember the a la Mode International Convention in San Antonio, Texas.