Who Needs A Hug?

October 8, 2018

It’s not your imagination that a hug can brighten a tough day -- so says a study from Carnegie Mellon University.

In a study published in the medical journal PLOS One, researchers at the institution used a survey of hundreds of men and women to determine that a consensual hug from someone -- not necessarily a loved one, but even a trusted friend -- can boost your mood even through the next day.

Their survey also revealed that if the person had been in a conflict with another person, the hug from another acted as a shield against negative emotions.

What’s more, people who considered themselves huggers were found to have stronger relationships and even better overall health than non-huggers.

More study is needed, the scientists allow, but it shows promise. “This research is in its early stages. We still have questions about when, how, and for whom hugs are most helpful,” says study co-author Michael Murphy. “However, our study suggests that consensual hugs might be useful for showing support to somebody enduring relationship conflict.”

The researchers add, ”[H]ugs may be a simple yet effective method of providing support to both men and women experiencing interpersonal distress.”

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