It’s that time of year when everyone is breaking out thicker blankets and cuddling up for warmth. But warmth isn’t the only reason why cuddling feels so great!
It turns out that when someone is engaged in intimate physical contact, such as hugging, kissing, cuddling, or even sex, the brain naturally produces a “love hormone” called oxytocin.
Oxytocin promotes happiness and kind behaviors, such as friendliness, empathy, and supportiveness. When people don’t get enough physical bonding (especially as a child), the lack of oxytocin tends to make them behave despondently and feel depressed or alienated.
So remember, if you’re feeling down, grab a loved one (person or pet) and cuddle!
To learn more about how oxytocin may be used to treat depression, read this article from Prevention News by Siobhan O’Conner called Can Cuddling Cure Depression?