How Many Hugs Do We Need a Day to Feel Happy?

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Depression is something that impacts people of all ages and backgrounds. In order to address depression, we need to take a well-rounded approach. This may include meeting with a mental health professional, considering medication and increasing human contact with the people who bring us joy and happiness.

That is where hugs can be helpful. How many hugs a day do we need a day to feel happy? We will address that below, as well as discuss the benefits of human touch on the psyche.

If you are concerned that you might need help managing your depression, please consider reaching out to a trained mental health professional as soon as possible.

How Many Hugs Do We Need a Day?

Everyone is different, but if you want to take advantage of the greatest possible impact of hugs, you need to have between four and 12 hugs per day, depending on what your goals are. To some of you, that may seem like a lot.

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Everyone needs a bit of support from time to time, and we can show our support for other people by giving them hugs.

Unfortunately, a lot of people who follow Western culture lead busy lives. Others choose to live solitary lives. As a result, people do not receive as many hugs as they used to, which could be the reason why some people do not get hugs daily.

Furthermore, a lot of people are hesitant to touch other people or do not like being touched, which could be another reason people do not get the number of hugs they need. 

7 Benefits of Receiving Regular Hugs

There are several significant benefits you may experience if you receive regular hugs. They include:

  • Hugs Can Reduce Feelings of Solitude: One of the biggest reasons why people feel depressed is that they feel like they are alone. When we feel like there are other people who are around us, we may not feel down and depressed. Even though you may feel like you are struggling through life on your own, there are people in your life who love and care about you.
  • Hugs Can Reduce Your Stress Level: When we see someone who is dealing with a painful or unpleasant experience, it can be beneficial to give them a hug. Research has shown that giving someone another hug, which means touching them, can reduce their stress levels. Everyone needs a bit of support from time to time, and we can show our support for other people by giving them hugs. 
  • Hugs Can Make You Feel Happier: When you hug someone else, you can trigger a release of neurotransmitters that can make them feel happy. Specifically, oxytocin is often called the cuddle hormone. That is because when we cuddle with someone else, oxytocin is released. In addition, higher oxytocin levels can make you feel happier. Diverse levels of oxytocin can be released depending on who you hug, so if you are looking for a bit of a happiness boost, you may want to hug a family member or a friend. 
  • Hugs May Be Beneficial for Your Heart Health: Even though hugs can provide significant benefits for our mental health, they can also provide benefits for our physical health as well. One specific study showed that people whose romantic partners hugged them regularly experienced a significant reduction in blood pressure. If you want to protect your heart, you should try to hug other people regularly.
  • Hugs Can Help You Reduce Your Fears: Everyone gets afraid from time to time, regardless of whether we are afraid of the future or we are simply riding a scary roller coaster. Even though hugging someone else is probably where you will get the biggest benefit, even hugging a stuffed animal can help you address your fears. If you find yourself in a scary situation, see if you can find someone to hug. 
  • Hugs Can Address Chronic Pain: Chronic pain is one of the most pressing issues facing the healthcare system today, and it is important to take a well-rounded approach to chronic pain. Even though physical therapy and prescription medications can be helpful in some situations, hugs can also help you reduce chronic pain. Human contact is important for the recovery process because it can change your mindset. If you control your emotions and improve your mood, you might have an easier time managing symptoms of chronic pain. 
  • Hugs Help You Communicate with Other People: Finally, hugs can also be a fantastic way for you to communicate with other people. Even though most human communication takes place through spoken words and facial expressions, you can also communicate with other people through touch. You can express numerous emotions through hugs, including fear, love, sadness, and sympathy. Even though you may not realize it, you hug people in different ways. Think about how your hugs change depending on the message you want to send, and you will realize that hugs can be an especially important form of communication. 

These are just a few of the numerous benefits you can enjoy if you hug other people regularly.

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If you find yourself in a scary situation, see if you can find someone to hug. 

You might even need to go to the drawing board to practice your distinctive styles of hugging! 

What If You Don’t Like Hugging?

If you do not like hugging other people, there are other ways you can take advantage of the benefits of human contact. Some of the top examples include:

  • A Quick Fist-Bump: You might want to fist-bump other people. This is relatively simple. You close your fist like you are going to try and punch someone or something. Then, you gently tap the fist of the other person. This is a great way to express compassion and approval for someone else.
  • A Handshake: You might also want to try a handshake. Even though this might feel a bit formal and professional, there are plenty of friends who shake hands every time they see each other instead of hugging one another. You may want to see if the handshake is a better option for you.
  • A Half-Hug: If you aren't in the mood for a full hug, you can try a half hug instead. You shake someone's hand with one hand, and then you wrap your arm around the person like a half-hug. This is a great middle ground between shaking hands and hugging someone.

These are a few of the best options you may want to try if you do not like hugging other people. You may want to try out a few of these options to see what works best for your specific needs… or come up with one of your own that makes you feel the most comfortable. High five, anyone?

Final Thoughts on How Many Hugs We Need a Day

In the end, it is important to remember that hugs are an important form of the human experience. We may not always want to admit it, but we need contact. Hugs can help improve mood, playing a role in the treatment of depression.

Ideally, we should get as many hugs a day as possible… but everyone has different comfort levels. It is important to approach this process with an open mind, listen to the other person and pay close attention to body language.

If you enjoyed this article, you might be interested in learning about other ways for treating and dealing with depression. Our article on affirmations for people struggling with depression is a wonderful place to start!

Remember: you never have to go through this on your own. There are apps and books to help with anxiety, as well as trained professionals willing to lend a helping hand. 

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