Cuddle Up to Get the Benefits
By Brandi Swieter
National Cuddle Up Day encourages cuddling, and for good reason. The activity actually provides some benefits to those who do it regularly. The day is observed the first week of January. People should find a cuddle buddy to celebrate and continue cuddling often for major improvements in mental health and wellness.
The level of oxytocin in your body rises when you're snuggled with someone. This hormone reduces feelings of anxiety and makes people feel more relaxed. If you need to reduce stress, then cuddling is the answer. Just a few minutes spent in another person's arms, or holding them in yours, can help your mind and body to de-stress. Blood pressure is actually lowered during this time which also contributes to the feeling of calmness.
The simple social interaction between you and the person you're cuddling with is enough to make the activity worthwhile. It helps you feel close to the other person and not so alone. Feeling lonely and isolated tends to lead to feelings of depression. Interacting with another person, and cuddling up next to them, takes those feelings away. It boosts mood and enhances your overall well-being.
Building a Better Immune System
The level of cortisol in the body gets reduced during a cuddling session. This is the stress hormone. Without stress felt, the hormone is limited. Cortisol interferes with the immune system. It stops it from functioning properly. Reducing stress, and therefore this hormone, can help to prevent any sort of trouble within the immune system which can make it run more efficiently. A better immune system means less sickness. It's even advised to cuddle with someone when a common cold comes on so the symptoms don't last as long. Couples who cuddle together when they're sick may get better faster.
The oxytocin that makes people feel relaxed also works to block pain. Though the pain may still be there under the surface, the symptoms of it can be relieved with the help of a good cuddle. Anyone feeling sore or otherwise unwell should find someone to snuggle with if they want to relieve their tension naturally without the need for medication.
Cuddle up with a partner or even just a friend to celebrate National Cuddle Up Day -- who needs a specific day to cuddle?! -- to gain the mental health benefits the activity offers. Snuggling up to another person can reduce blood pressure and improve mood drastically.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Cary, N.C.