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20229/20

Hugging someone reduces stress.

Research shows that hugging someone reduces stress.

Hugging (embracing) is not an everyday cultural practice in Japan, but it is an important body language to convey friendship, affection, and intimacy in other countries. Research has shown that such hugs are effective in reducing stress and conflict.

Receiving a hug is associated with an attenuation of negative mood that occurs on days with interpersonal conflict
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0203522
Consensual Hugs Seem to Reduce Stress – Scientific American
https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/consensual-hugs-seem-to-reduce-stress/
A research team led by Carnegie Mellon University psychologist Michael L. M. Murphy conducted nightly interviews with 404 men and women over a two-week period to determine whether hugs help people better handle stress and conflict.

In these interviews, they asked yes-or-no questions about whether they had experienced conflict or stress with someone today, and whether they had hugged someone today. They were also asked if they had shared an activity with someone else, such as a meal or a movie, and how they were feeling at the time.
The results showed that among those who reported experiencing stress or conflict, those who hugged were less negatively affected than those who did not hug. It was also found that women hugged more often than men and experienced more days of conflict and stress at the same time, but the research team found no gender differences in the size of the stress reduction effect of hugging.

They also found that those who accepted the hugs did not carry over the negative effects to the next day, while those who did not accept the hugs showed negative effects on their mental state the next day.
Michael L. M. Murphy, M.D., Director of the Hugs for Sufferers Program, said, “The results of this study do not indicate that people should hug people who are suffering. Being hugged by a boss at work or a stranger is not consensual or positive,” he warns.

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