the Reads:

How a 20-second hug a day could change your life…⁠(though choose carefully who you hug at this time!)

⁠Hugging someone you love for 20 seconds a day is the key to alleviating stress and beating burnout, according to a lovely book, ‘The Secret to Solving the Stress Cycle’, by co-authors, Emily and Amelia Nagoski.⁠

A lingering embrace releases the bonding hormone oxytocin, which can lower your blood pressure, slow your heart rate and improve your mood and who doesn’t love a hug?!⁠

A heart-to-heart hug can have significant benefits on our mental and physical health and happiness. When someone touches you, the sensation on your skin activates pressure receptors called Pacinian corpuscles, which then send signals to the vagus nerve, an area of the brain that is responsible for (among many things) lowering blood pressure.⁠

The neuroscientist and author, Dr Tara Swart, agrees and has been reported advising, “We need a hug at least daily, if not several times a day, and generally speaking, the longer the hug the better.” If you do not have anyone to cuddle, you could try a massage, a bath or even shaking hands.⁠

“Any physical contact is good for you but somebody you feel warm towards already is better than somebody you feel neutral towards,” said Swart. “The greater surface area of your body that is in contact the better.”⁠
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