The Exact Number of Hugs A Person Needs For Optimal Health, According To Science

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Everybody loves hugs. When we’re sad, hugs from our friends make us feel better. When we’re happy, hugging our loved ones spreads the joy. But this physical closeness with the people we admire does more for us than just boosting our mood.

Science has proven that a specific amount of hugs each day can change our inner and external worlds for the better. The number of hugs it takes to achieve the optimal healthy life, shows that you’re not needy for craving it, you’re just human!

f you want to know more on what your birth chart reveals about how you love and what you need out of a partner, check out this personalized report based on date of birth.

Hugs Reduce Stress

Stress is an unfortunate part of every person’s life. At one point or another, we all experience stressful jobs, family conflicts, or existential worries that take a toll on our physical and mental health. But, hugs can help us deal with it!

A young woman bent down, hugging her golden retriever at sunset.
Helena Lopes / Unsplash
Helena Lopes / Unsplash

Physical touch, from ourself or people we love, lowers cortisol levels in our body. This means that when we are held closely in a loving way, the muscles and limbs in our body become less tense, helping our body maintain positivity. After a long day, a hug can be a great reward.

Hugs Increase Happiness

They say money can’t buy happiness. Well, apparently hugs can! One of the most beneficial rewards of a tight hug is making us feel happier. This act of care releases feel-good hormones in the body including dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin.

An elderly woman and a small girl hugging.
Ekaterina Shakharova / Unsplash
Ekaterina Shakharova / Unsplash

The most notable hormone is oxytocin, which is sometimes called the “cuddle hormone” because it’s created when we are physically close to someone that we love. It’s scientifically proven that women who hug their significant others often, or spend a lot of time holding infants, see the benefits of this hormone the most. So women, don’t feel like you’re asking too much!

Hugs Improve Heart Health

When we hug someone, our bodies get close enough to feel the other person’s heartbeat. So, it’s no surprise that doctors have proven that hugging is beneficial in improving our heart health. Like walking and running, hugging helps keep our hearts healthy.

A young man and woman in embrace.
Natalie Runnerstrom / Unsplash
Natalie Runnerstrom / Unsplash

A study performed by 200 people showed that romantic partners that held each other for a short period of time left the experiment with lower heart rates and blood pressure than partners who sat apart. So, that special someone that you hold in your heart could be the key to a healthy life!

Hugs Help Your Immune System

Vitamins are medicine that people are instructed to take every day to maintain good health. What most people don’t yet know is that hugging is another form of boosting their immunity.

A father and son hugging face to face.
Rajesh Rajput / Unsplash
Rajesh Rajput / Unsplash

When pressure is put on the sternum in our bodies and emotional energy is transferred to our brains, our thymus gland will work overtime to balance our white blood cells. In simpler terms, a hug is how our immune system wakes up and works harder to keep us healthy. Who needs a pharmacy when you’ve got the arms of family and friends? Especially when you hit the magic number of hugs!

Hugs Boost Self-Esteem

Physical closeness can do wonders to a person’s confidence and self-esteem. This doesn’t mean you need to be confident enough to get close to another human right away, but science has proven that hugging objects and animals is a tool to relieve anxiety.

A man hugging a woman from behind, both laughing.
Ave Calvar / Unsplash
Ave Calvar / Unsplash

Hugging produces serotonin, which is a natural way our body creates an anti-depressant hormone. Touch is one of the five senses that helps people fight off loneliness and existential worries. Old or young, simply sleeping with a teddy bear at night can improve your waking life!

Hugs Are A Form Of Communication

Communication can show up in many different forms and languages. While verbal speech and facial cues are common forms of human communication, physical touch is another way that people and animals come to understand each other.

A young man hugging a young woman.
Candice Picard / Unsplash
Candice Picard / Unsplash

Research shows that even strangers can come to understand a person from the simple act of touch. In one study, a stranger’s touch revealed a whole range of emotions from the participant when different parts of their body were caressed. A simple hug can say: “I’m sorry”, “I’ve missed you,” and “I love you”!

How Many Hugs? The Magic Number

So, how many hugs a day should we be getting and giving? According to therapist Virginia Satir, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

A young mother holding a yawning infant.
Jonathan Borba / Unsplash
Jonathan Borba / Unsplash

It may sound like a lot, but hugs are important. The stigma that those who constantly need hugs are needy is false! They are just tuned in to their instincts. We know this since we’re babies, as physical touch with our mother leads to improved sleep, regulated growth hormone, and development of proper empathy. As we get older, we need to take care of our bodies and minds even more despite the experiences that make us think that we need more space from each other. A hug is a small miracle for our health.

A Hug A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

The desire for physical closeness is something that brings all humans and species together. The act of an embrace helps individuals connect with each other, feel safe, and also improves our health. A hug a day keeps the doctor away!

man hugs upset woman from the side while looking right at her
Rg Studio/ Getty Images Signature Via Canva Pro
Rg Studio/ Getty Images Signature Via Canva Pro

It may sound surprising, but hugging is medicine. There are all kinds of different hugs: between lovers, parents, pets, or even with yourself. So, hug someone you love a little tighter today. You’ll be doing each other a favor!

In any relationship, always look at how you feel and ask yourself: does this person make you love yourself more? Do you want to grow old with them?

If you want to know more on what your birth chart reveals about how you love and what you need out of a partner, check out this personalized report based on date of birth.

For more great relationship advice and tips on how to attain the kind of love you deserve, watch this video from expert, Amy North: Click Here To Watch The Full Video.


nicolemior is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives