Hugging, as a way of expressing affection for a loved one is indeed a good way to show you care, but now researchers seem to have found other health benefits as well.
Hugging promotes bonding and increases trust and these positive emotions are found to reduce stress, improve memory and relieve anxiety. Hugging is also known to reduce blood pressure.
Scientists found that 'oxytocin', the cuddle hormone surges into the blood stream when you hug a dear one. Oxytocin is famous in promoting bonding, increasing closeness between parents, couples and children. It also enhances empathy as hugging a loved one over time makes a person more empathetic.
"The positive effect only occurs, however, if the people trust each other, if the associated feelings are present mutually and if the corresponding signals are sent out. If people do not know each other, or if the hug is not desired by both parties, its effects are lost. Hugging is good, but no matter how long or how often someone hugs, it is trust that's more important," said Neurophysiologist Jürgen Sandkühler.