Hugging and kissing can become a important force towards a healthier and happier life, and there is enough scientific evidence to prove it. Observe kids, for instance. These young ones hardly thrive without some form of physical intimacy. There is actually little to reassure and/or comfort a child as a hug, a pat, or a kiss from a loved one does. Yet, for some unsupportable reason, parents all to often stop hugging or kissing their kids as they get older? Couples also tend to reduce the frequency of these two very important acts of affection as their relationships grow older.

However, you should be free, always, to hug and to kiss, and be hugged and kissed in return. This is not just for show: science has confirmed that physical touch brings lots of health benefits that extend throughout one’s live.

As well as an honest kiss, a heart to heart hug provides significant benefits to our happiness and health in many ways. Here is how hugging and kissing makes you healthy.

Enhanced Relationships

Communication is so core in building relationships, but the majority of people tend to forget just how effective and significant touch can be. The language of touch, is honest and does not lie. A heart-warming hug coupled with a calm, unrushed soft kiss subtly increases the feeling of being secure, safe, and belonging. Research has proved that relationships in which kissing, touching, and hugging are common tend to be healthier, stronger, and longer lasting.

Touch is fundamental in creating as well as strengthening romantic relationships. Tactile physical intimacy is so correlated with overall relationship and partner fulfillment. Again, physical affection makes conflict resolution easier—with conflicts resolved faster if hugging, holding and cuddling, and kissing is not ignored or feared. You might have seen this, at least on the movies. A strong relationship means a healthy life.

Reduced Stress, Anxiety, and Blood Pressure

We all need this. When we kiss or hug a loved one, our oxytocin levels improve. Oxytocin is a powerful hormone with the ability to significantly alleviate any sort of social anxiety while producing a feeling of trust and security. This hormone is also a secret dose of stress reduction. It has been known to decline the cortisol, a stress hormone, in the body and increase serotonin in the brain, while lowering blood pressure. Cases of women who report having been given more and passionate hugs and kisses by their partners show that they have considerably lower blood pressure than those who lack much history of being so intimate to their partners. Even how you respond to stressful life situations can be much lowered by your affectionate physical behavior. It is like meditation. It is essential.

Hugging and Kissing Promotes Happiness and Health

Obviously, when a relationship is enhanced and stress, anxiety, and blood pressure are reduced, good health and happiness take over. But again, here is another way hugging and kissing directly inject more happiness and health into your life. Such intimacy induces the secretion of more serotonin and endorphins, commonly known as happiness and feel-good hormones. Serotonin is known to regulate dopamine, which if high, can lead to aggressive and violent behaviors. If elevated, serotonin and endorphins create moments of happiness and improve mood.

Dental and gut health is also taken care of! Kissing increases saliva that washes the mouth, helping prevent tooth cavities. That saliva also contains natural antibiotics. Kissing also makes you smile and love more. Smiling prevents aging, loving is spiritually rewarding.

Everyone needs some hugs, kisses, affectionate touching to keep serotonin levels. So hug loved ones, friends, or even your dear pet; they need hugs and kisses too.

Relieves Tension and Pain

When a person you love gives you a warm hug, you definitely find a reason to relax. Relaxing lessens the tension in your body.

Imagine you loved one with you, holding you and calmly whispering, “Don’t worry, dear, you’ll be okay. Everything shall be fine.” And then, as a matter of love, slowly slither his/her right hand down your left cheek and, after locking eyes for a second or two, softly kiss you. Why would you be sick again when you are so sure there is someone to fully count on, no matter what? You wouldn’t know when tension fled from you. And as you begin to feel happy, strong, ready to go again, so you body responds, even improving your immunity.

Increased Feelings of Self-Worth

From the very moment you are born tactile sensations are inextricably embedded in your nervous system. Then through childhood, the loving cuddles, hugs and kisses you receive develop into a sense of self worth that is carried into adolescence and adulthood at a cellular level. That is the reason when you in low-esteem, feeling down, confused or unsure of yourself a hug can actually transform such feelings back to your self-worth, confidence, and positive attitude. More touch, more oxytocin, more trust.

Restore Balance in the Nervous System

Hugging, kissing provide manual stimulation the parasympathetic system. A hug or kiss can restore a lost balance in your nervous system.

Most people live in a state of high alert, stress, and anxiety, putting their sympathetic nervous system on an unnecessary alert. If this is so, the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for producing a relaxed and calm state, becomes under active.

By reigniting this parasympathetic nervous system is a kiss or hug, you restore the balance, naturally slowing down your pace of life and consequently feeling better.

Touching Coveys Your Emotions Effectively

A recent article titled “The Power of Touch” and published in Psychology Today has Matthew Hertenstein, a DePauw University psychologist, demonstrating that we harbor an innate scope to decode emotions through touch alone.

Former scientists believed that touching was just a means of accentuating messages signaled by speech and/or body language, “But it instead seems that touch is a much more sophisticated, nuanced, precise, and honest way to convey emotion,” Matthew says.

And emotion, delightful or sorrowful, if not vented can be more lethal than poison. The best way to do so is to touch.

Have some honest hugging, kissing, cuddling, stroking, and holding. Virginia Satir, an often quoted psychologist recommends four hugs daily for survival, eight for maintenance, and twelve for growth. Hug and let you be hugged. It is a mutual undertaking for mutual reward.

Take your dose of hugs and kisses faithfully; it is one of my most powerful secrets to a healthier and happier life.

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