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Get 8 Hugs a Day

challenge compassion goals happiness hormones hugs neuroscience psychology stress reduction Dec 29, 2023

Humans are a social species, and we need touch to develop correctly and be healthy. If we don't get enough cuddles as infants, we will be socially impaired as we grow up. This is due to a hormone called oxytocin, also known as the bonding hormone, which we make when we're hugged and loved on. Oxytocin increases our ability to bond with others, to be compassionate and empathetic with others' situations, and it even changes us biochemically by counteracting stress hormones in our bodies, producing relaxed, content, warm and fuzzy feelings. 

About four typical hugs a day enables us to maintain a good level of oxytocin in our bodies, whereas eight hugs per day increases the amount of this hormone to better and more advantageous levels. We don't have to worry about negative effects of having too much (assuming we're not being socially awkward!), so make it a point to get eight hugs every day. Yes, pets count. Sex counts as multiple hugs. When in doubt, give another hug. You have to give them to get them! :)

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