When was the last time you had a good hug?

This week’s Mental Sunshine is all about the benefits of hugging.

It may not surprise you to learn that I am, in fact, a hugger.

I’ve always believed that hugs are good for you, and an instant mood booster.

When you hug someone, your body produces endorphins, which are chemicals that relieve pain and stress as well as producing feelings of happiness.

You also produce oxytocin, the “love hormone” which relieves stress and helps to calm us.

Research has shown that a hug can help to calm our nervous systems, moving us out of “fight or flight” and into “rest and digest.”

Hugs are also good for helping to combat feelings of loneliness – you feel more connected to the world around you when you give or receive a hug.

We’re not talking about a quick hug hello or goodbye here – you want a good 20-30 seconds to get the full benefit.

Often when you hug someone for that long you can feel your body relax into it.

And theirs too!

It’s a benefit for both of you and a great way of spreading your Mental Sunshine around a bit.

The more hugs you get, the better off you’ll be – and this is completely free to try too, so why wouldn’t you!

A hug (or three) a day keeps the doctor away?

It has to be worth a try, right?

Give someone a hug today, and see if it improves both your moods.

I’d love to hear how you get on!