Feeling Stressed? You Need a Hug

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The next time you feel yourself wracked by interpersonal conflict and strife, hug somebody. A study conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and published in PLOS One suggests that hugs can offset the harmful effects of a bad mood caused by stressful conflicts.

The researchers interviewed 404 men and women at the end of each day for 14 consecutive days. They asked study participants about their conflicts, hugs they received, and their positive and negative moods every day during the two-week period. On days that involved conflicts, getting a hug was associated with a smaller decrease in positive emotions and smaller increase in negative emotions than hugless days — and these effects carried over into the next day.

This study helps confirm the theory that people who engage in more frequent touch experience better physical and psychological health, which is significant because interpersonal conflicts are associated with a number of harmful health effects.

Sourced from: PLOS One