Feeling down in the dumps? Stressed? A little off-kilter because of some disagreement?
Hug it out! A new study suggests that just reaching out and touching someone — consensually, of course — can reduce bad feelings associated with the typical ups and downs of our social interactions.
The study from the Department of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, published this week in PLOS ONE,
looked at the social interactions of more than 400 people over two weeks. A summary of their daily activities, moods and physical interactions revealed a causal link between emotional states, conflicts and the number of hugs a person gave or received.
“Results indicated that there was an interaction between hug receipt and conflict exposure such that receiving a hug was associated with a smaller conflict-related decrease in positive affect and a smaller conflict-related increase in negative affect when assessed concurrently,” the study reads.
In plainer English, hugging helped people feel less poorly after some kind of conflict or negative event during their day.
This effect was seen across all genders and ages in the study, although women reported more hugs than men.
“Our results are consistent with the conclusion that both men and women may benefit equally from being hugged on days when conflict occurs,” the study reads.
For more, read the full article at CNN .