22 December

It has been proven that a hug a day can do many positives things for the body. The release of endorphin’s from feelings of comfort can boost mood levels, allow others to maintain happiness with consistency of hugs, and now it can even help prevent the common cold.

Everyone manages to get ill over the Christmas and winter period – the common cold being the biggest culprit of all. But, there is no fear, for a recent study has shown it can prevent the virus. It has been shown in the past that those who deal with a lot of stress and conflict are less able to recover quickly from the virus. Those who do have support from others are less likely to suffer from stress, and depression.

Therefore, the connection was linked to see if stress does not occur, then the illness may not be as severe when others are supported.

Medical News Today ran this story, and heard from the lead author Sheldon Cohen, the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA said:

“We tested whether perceptions of social support are equally effective in protecting us from stress-induced susceptibility to infection and also whether receiving hugs might partially account for those feelings of support and themselves protect a person against infection,” [1]

The study consisted of questioning 404 healthy adults, then exposing them to the virus of the common cold. Those that were given more support through conflicts were not as likely to be infected, and a third of this reasoning was because of hugs. The same candidates also displayed less severe symptoms than those without.

Cohen also stated that:

“The apparent protective effect of hugs may be attributable to the physical contact itself or to hugging being a behavioral indicator of support and intimacy. Either way, those who receive more hugs are somewhat more protected from infection.”

Therefore – if you feel a cold coming on this Winter, get hugging and feeling the happiness. We can support each other!

[1] Whiteman, H. (2014). Could a hug a day keep infection at bay?. Medical News Today. Available at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287242.php [Accessed 22 Dec. 2014].

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