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Reasons Why You Need a Cuddle Buddy
During the winter, there is nothing like snuggling up under a blanket and watching your favorite movie with someone. Hugging, hand holding, shoulder massages, and spooning are all forms of cuddling. Cuddling has amazing health benefits and can lift your mood. However, many people are weird about cuddling preferring to stay in their own space bubble.
Cuddling is often associated with romantic relationships or with babies and young children. In new relationships, cuddling can take precedence over going out, spending time with friends, and other regular activities. Then when you come out of that relationship, the cuddling and the good feelings that come with it are gone. For older relationships, cuddling is often pushed aside with excuses. Cuddling, platonic or romantic, is beneficial to bodily and emotional health and well-being. Having someone to cuddle with is like having a promise for better health and mood.
In this article, we’ll discuss why you need a cuddle buddy and want it can do for your health. Read on!
1. Happy Hormones
Cuddling with another person releases a beautiful blend of chemicals in the brain. Among these chemicals is oxytocin, which is associated with bonding. Oxytocin is also released between mothers and babies during nursing, helping them relax and bond with each other. Oxytocin provides feelings of closeness and comfort as well as a boost to the immune system. Oxytocin has also been proven to help relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain. Sometimes called the cuddle hormone, oxytocin promotes sleep, which is why you feel both happy and sleepy after a good cuddle session.
Along with oxytocin, the brain also releases serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin works in the parts of the brain that deal with mood, sleep, and heart rate. Cuddling lowers your heart rate by releasing serotonin. A resting heart rate and slower breath send a message to the body that it is time for sleep. People with low serotonin levels often suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. The serotonin that is released during a cuddling session can help bring the overall level up, easing symptoms and balancing mood.
Dopamine is hormone associated with pleasure, sexual desire, and motivation. The dopamine released in cuddling can help you and your partner bond better. As a motivator, dopamine is like the reward messenger of the brain, carrying the messages about what feels good throughout the body. Dopamine also acts in the part of the brain that processes pain, which is why you are less likely to feel pain when you’re feeling happy or accomplished.
2. Physical Benefits of Having a Cuddle Buddy
Cuddling also offers some incredible physical benefits. When oxytocin and dopamine are released, pain in the body is processed differently—cuddling is like a natural aspirin. Oxytocin is boosted through cuddling which means the more hugs the better during cold and flu season. Amazingly, oxytocin can also lower blood pressure. Lowered blood pressure reduces your risk for heart disease. People that get regular hugs from loved ones are less likely to have high blood pressure than those that don’t. Your lungs and heart also benefit from cuddling. Serotonin lowers your heart rate, which signals the body to relax, and promotes deep breathing which can improve concentration and focus.
3. Eases Stress
Stress is a major problem, with most adults spending their days stressed about money, family, or work. Stress puts the body into the panic mood and high alert, which why people often get ill before a big event. Stress weakens the immune system by releasing cortisol. Oxytocin inhibits cortisol. Feelings of fear and anxiety extinguished by cuddling. Cuddling during times of stress not only feels comforting but it eases stress and promotes relaxation.
For romantic couples, cuddling can be physically bonding, but also emotionally. Spending a calm, quiet time together can ease tensions in the relationship. After a good cuddle, problems may not seem so bleak. Of course, cuddling can lead to sex, which is a bonus. Cuddling feels amazing and when both partners feel good, they’ll be more open to each other.
Platonic relationships also benefit from cuddling. Children that are hugged by their parents are less likely to develop anxiety or other mood disorders. Cuddling with friends releases those same happy hormones that cuddling with a romantic partner does. Think back to sleepovers of childhood, all laying in a pile on the floor, laughing and rolling around. Maybe your grandmother used to run her fingers on your back to help you sleep. Those good, safe feelings are all due to the wonderful benefits of cuddling.
5. Human Contact is Vital
Humans are a social species. We thrive on each other’s company and rely on each other for resources. Cuddling is a form of nonverbal communication, providing a feeling of safety, companionship, and peace. Spending time cuddling with a loved one is a way of showing care and learning to understand each other emotionally. Empathy relies heavily on non-verbal communication. Most people just want to be able to communicate and be understood. Cuddling is taking a step back from the busy world just to listen and communicate.
Human contact, like cuddling, prevents feelings of isolation and loneliness. People who do not receive regular human contact are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Just by receiving one hug or more hug a day, your health can be boosted, and your mood can be lifted.
6. How to Find a Cuddle Buddy
For people who live alone, are single, or have social anxiety, cuddling may seem bizarre, but everyone can benefit from cuddling. Asking a friend for a cuddle might feel uncomfortable at first, but both of you might love it. Some people regularly meet up with their platonic cuddle buddy just to cuddle. Cuddle buddies are also available for hire for “cuddle therapy.”
Much like online dating services, cuddlesex is filled out and a buddy is selected. Hiring a cuddle buddy sounds unorthodox, but all the cuddling is 100% platonic. If hiring a cuddle buddy isn’t your style, cuddling a pet or giving yourself a neck rub also can give you some of the same effects as cuddling. A warm bath or treating yourself to a fancy massage can also induce those happy hormones.
In today’s fast-paced world, cuddling is even more important for health. Everyone can benefit from having a cuddle buddy. Having someone to cuddle might make you happier and healthier, but it also might make you more empathetic and open. A world with more cuddles is a happier,