It’s no surprise that cuddling makes you feel good, but it also has a whole host of other benefits as well. When was the last time you had a good no-strings-attached cuddle? For natural cuddlers, it might not be very long. For those who aren’t as into cuddling, it might be far longer.
The most immediate benefit of a cuddle is a reduction of stress. Cuddling releases oxytocin which is key to both calming frazzled nerves and helping people bond. This reduction of stress has a ton of benefits, the most important being an overall reduction of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is responsible for elevating blood pressure, which over time can lead to heart disease. Yes! Cuddling is good for your heart!
But wait, there’s more! Cuddling can also help reduce pain, increase the sense of connection in a relationship, and reduce the likelihood of sickness. It can improve sleep, calm infants, and improve the bond between people.
Finding ways to sneak in a cuddle, or two
With all this science behind cuddling, it makes sense to make getting in your daily cuddles a priority. All alone? You can still get the benefits of cuddling by snuggling a pillow or stuffed animal while talking to someone on the phone. If you have a furry pet, you get all these benefits when they curl up in your lap or lie down close to you.
Cuddling doesn’t have to be complicated. You can cuddle while watching TV, while reading together, or before going to sleep. Find several moments during your day where cuddling is a natural fit and be sure to get your cuddles in!
Making myself a cuddle magnet
Cuddles are one of my love languages. If it’s been a while since I’ve had a good one, I can feel the difference. Life can get really hectic in my family, especially when everyone has something different going on and it’s all important. It’s easy to forget how important hugging and touch can be.
When I sense that one of my kiddos is frazzled, I offer a hug or to watch a show together where we can sit close and make snarky comments. While it doesn’t solve the original problem, it often takes the edge off enough for them to start thinking rationally about what’s bothering them. It’s a nice way to reconnect. My kiddos know I’m always good for a hug.
Discussion Question: How do you feel about hugs and cuddling? Are you okay with hugging anyone, or do you prefer to only hug those close to you?