Why is Hugging Important?
Many families have been missing hugs over the duration of Lockdown Level 3 and 4. Although we aren’t encouraged to go all out and hug everyone we meet, we are encouraged to give family members a quick hug now we are in Level 2 which will be a real relief for many families.
Why is hugging so important?
I couldn’t help but do a bit of research on this topic - during a family session I always photograph hugging and snuggling photos. It might be a big family cuddle or a younger child cuddling into their parent, sibling or grandparent. These photos always give off warm fuzzies because both the giver and receiver ‘glow’ (that’s my scientific description anyway! ).
However, there is a real scientific reason for this, hugging releases a hormone in the body called oxytocin. As quoted from Medical News Today, oxytocin is a hormone and a neurotransmitter that is involved in childbirth and breast-feeding. It is also associated with empathy, trust, sexual activity, and relationship-building
There’s a movie many of us are familiar with, Love Actually. Writer-director, Richard Curtis, claims that inspiration for the movie came from watching the love expressed at the airport arrival gate in Los Angeles LAX Airport (although the actual footage for the movie was shot at Heathrow Airport). The power of a hug is so strong that even watching the effects can cause a positive action.
There’s quite a few health benefits associated to a hug too. "Hugging protects people who are under stress from the increased risk for colds [that's] usually associated with stress," notes study lead author Sheldon Cohen, a professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania.
So next time at a family photo session, I tell you to cuddle in for a photo, you’ll not only receive a beautiful photo of your nearest and dearest all 'glowing' with happiness together, your body will actually be feeling happy for the physical interaction too!
Stay safe with your hugs and follow Government guidelines during Covid-19 times. If you have the opportunity, give a family member a quick hug, watch them ‘glow’ and know you are actually helping them physically!
Caroline is a Family Lifestyle Photographer who loves to document family stories in an emotive and creative way. She enjoys tangibly preserving stories into beautiful albums and framed or boxed artwork.