Have you ever heard of Cuddle Con? Cuddle Con was the first ever cuddling convention (yes, this is true) held in Portland, Oregon on February 14, 2015. It was promoted by Cuddle Up To Me, a company seeking to promote the vast benefits of non-erotic positive touching in a relationship.
They sought to prove that cuddling creates love and acceptance, and everyone should be on board with that. Who doesn’t need a little more love in their lives? And we agree, these days, everything is about trying to reach the end goal as fast as possible. Trying to score fast and then be about your merry way, whether in a one night stand or an actual relationship. It seems as if people are forgetting about the merits of just slowing it down and just being with each other in a non-sexual way. And no, it’s not just a girl thing. Guys love to cuddle too. And anyone who says otherwise either hasn’t properly experienced it or is just lying to themselves. The fact of the matter is, cuddling is just plain awesome. In fact, it’s so awesome, we’ve got twelve reasons why. So without any further delay, snuggle up with a loved one, and here are some reasons why you should be cuddling.
12. It Relaxes You
When you’re stressed out, sometimes you just don’t know what to do. Sometimes it can seem as if your whole world is falling apart and nothing can change it. But don’t fret. Just cuddle! Cuddling releases a little hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin is linked to many positive benefits, but one of those is the reduction of stress. Another hormone, cortisol, is linked to stress. Oxytocin is shown to be a cortisol inhibitor, which basically means it fights it off, along with the stress it carries with it. And the more oxytocin you release, the less stressed you become. So more cuddling will lead to more stress reduction.
11. It Bonds You With Your Partner
Bonding is something that’s often thought of as something that happens through dinner table conversation or sharing your deepest and darkest secrets, but actually it’s more than that. It’s a physiological response. Oxytocin is sometimes touted as “the bonding hormone.” It’s actually the number one cause of bonding between a mother and child. It’s also why physical touch is so important for the bonding process. Physical touch causes this hormone to release in high levels, which in turn causes bonding with the person you’re touching. Obviously, this same bonding hormone can be vital for proper bonding in a relationship as well, and will truly bring you closer to your partner.
10. It Reduces Your Blood Pressure
If you’ve had trouble with your blood pressure in the past, regular cuddles may actually be able to help you combat those health problems and get back on track to a healthy life. The increased oxytocin levels produced through cuddling can naturally help to reduce your blood pressure. Researchers from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill reported that a 20 second hug and 10 minutes of handholding back-to-back can help to lower your heart rate and BP. It worked especially well for people who were already coping with high levels of stress. So basically, cuddling is good for your heart both literally and figuratively.
9. It Helps You To Communicate With Your Partner
Marriage and family therapist David Klow, is on record as saying that romantic, non-erotic touch is extremely important to fostering better communication in couples. Most people really want to feel as if they are understood and loved by their partners and not just wanted solely for sex or other superficial reasons. Cuddling makes people feel safe and fosters a deep bond of non-verbal communication that can create a powerful understanding of your partner that words just can’t replicate no matter how hard they try. So instead of picking up the phone or chatting at the dinner table, make sure to make some time for some cuddles to thoroughly understand your partner.
8. It Makes You Feel Happier
When you’re feeling down, you often get stuck in a slump and feeling that there’s no way out of it except to bunker down and let it run its course. But actually, cuddling can be a way to combat depression and increase your overall happiness. Dopamine and serotonin are released through closely touching another person. These are 2 hormones linked with increasing happiness and reducing depression. It’s also what happens in your brain when you eat comfort food or sweets. And we all know how happy that makes us. See, you guys? It’s science. So the next time you need an excuse to cuddle (or eat bad food), just use this one.
7. It Helps You Sleep Better
If you’re having trouble sleeping, cuddling can again be the answer. Terri Orbuch, Ph.D. reports that lower levels of anxiety can lead to going to sleep at a more reasonable hour. The bonding generating by cuddling can also lead to increased feelings of safety and being wanted in your relationship, which can of course ease sleep since it’s much easier to fall asleep relaxed than stressed out. In addition, cuddling generates warmth, which helps to calm and relax the body and help ease you off into dream land. Remember this the next time you’re suffering from a bout of insomnia. Just try a quick cuddle session.
6. It Strengthens Your Immune System
Forget downing zinc and vitamin C like they’re going out of style. Cuddling can actually boost your immune system and help to fight off infection. A study was performed in 2014, where 404 adults were all exposed to a virus. Those who received frequent hugs and cuddles in the following time period experienced less severe symptoms of disease. Again, the amazing hormone oxytocin is thought to be at work here. It’s believed that because it makes you feel good, it boosts other hormones that help to fight infection which are usually repressed when you’re stressed or depressed. It truly is the power of love.
5. It Lowers Your Risk Of Heart Disease
That oxytocin just doesn’t stop being useful! That’s right. You guessed it. Oxytocin is also at work here for your benefit, working to reduce your risk of heart disease. This is basically a benefit of everything we’ve listed above working together in perfect harmony. Lower blood pressure, less stress, longer and better quality of sleep, and an overall better feeling of well-being all can factor into reducing your risk of heart disease. You can literally make your heart happy and healthy by making yourself more happy and healthy. It’s a win-win. So why aren’t you already cuddling your partner while you’re reading this?
4. It Reduces Social Anxiety
If you’ve ever suffered or do still suffer from social anxiety, you know just how crippling it can be. Luckily, once again, our friend oxytocin is to your rescue. Oxytocin’s ability to improve your mood has been shown to lead to a more positive outlook. Maybe before you go to that party, consider spending a little bit of time cuddled up next to someone you love, and you’ll feel like the life of the party going into it.
3. It Can Relieve Pain
When you’re in pain, consider looking to the loving cuddles of your partner as the ultimate cure. Much to the same point as improving your immune system, oxytocin can also have a large hand in decreasing pain levels. It actually makes a lot of sense if you just think about it. When your back hurts, you try to put pressure on or rub the spot, right? Well, what are you doing? Touching it. That’s right. Simple touching can release oxytocin which makes you feel better. So just imagine what full body cuddling can do for you. More contact means more happy feelings and less pain.
2. It Leads To A Better, More Frequent Sex Life
Well, of course getting close to your partner physically is going to sometimes lead to something more. Alongside oxytocin, dopamine is released as well, which increases sexual desire. And as if you needed more reasons to get to it, being regularly sexually active with your partner has been linked to further stress relief and strengthening your relationship. Not to mention it’s a good workout that deserves a place in your fitness regimen. Just don’t forget to pull your partner in close after for more cuddles after your fun time as well, leading to a double-dip in the beneficial aspects of cuddling.
1. It Can Repair Your Body
This one must seem silly, right? But there’s actually some science to back it up. Scientists wanted to see if they could increase the rate of regeneration in older mice to more closely matched younger mice. In 2014, researchers rounded up some old mice with muscle damage and injected them with the cuddling hormone oxytocin. They found that after 9 days, the mice that were injected with oxytocin exhibited huge increases, with some able to repair tissue almost 80% as effectively as younger mice. Researchers believe the same could be true for humans, but the science has not yet proven that for sure.