Ah, Valentine’s Day. A day to honor the love of your life. (And if you don’t have someone special in your life, I understand. I was single for many years and many times just wanted to get past Valentine’s Day. Be sure to keep these points in mind for your future love:)). Did you know you could actually receive health benefits from love?
What do you do for Valentine’s Day? My husband and I typically don’t go all out for it. It seems like a traditional Hallmark holiday. However, since there is a holiday set aside, my husband might buy me some flowers and I might buy him some chocolates. I enjoy the flowers because they remind me of Spring. Any reminder I can get of Spring helps since winter usually drags on so long in Michigan.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share with you some health benefits of love. I have gotten this information from Dr. Mercola. His team has done a good job breaking down the benefits. I’m going to attempt to provide you an overview.
Are you Getting Your Recommended Daily Allowance of Hugs?
I was surprised to read that doctors recommend we should get 4 – 12 hugs a day. Wow, that’s a lot of hugs! Are you someone who hugs everyone you greet? It’s great that you do! I never grew up that way. I’ll hug someone if they hug me first, but I’m not usually going to initiate it.
I was surprised to read that people, on average, spend one hour a month hugging and that the average hug lasts under 10 seconds!
How Does Hugging Make You Healthier?
According to Dr. Mercola, hugging allows your body to produce ample amounts of the hormone oxytocin. Oxytocin is released from your pituitary gland and has health-giving properties. It helps to reduce your level of stress hormones (primarily cortisol). It can also lower your blood pressure response to anxiety-producing events.
“A 10-second hug a day can lead to biochemical and physiological reactions in your body that can significantly improve your health,” such as stress reduction, lowering the risk of heart disease, fighting fatigue and infections, boosting your immune system and easing depression.
Make sure you get some hugs every day!
A Kiss A Day Keeps the Doctor Away! Really?
If you thought there were benefits to hugging, there are even more benefits to kissing!
Like hugging, kissing relieves stress. It also “releases epinephrine into your blood, making it pump faster, which may result in a reduction of LDL cholesterol.”
Kissing is also known to produce these health benefits:
- Dilate blood vessels which can reduce blood pressure and relieve pain in headaches and cramps
- Fight cavities (as long as the other person has good oral hygiene)
- Releases happy hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin
- Burns calories
- Boosts self-esteem
- Tones facial muscles
This Valentine’s Day, be sure to give your special someone an extra hug and kiss and receive your health benefits!
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