Posted June 3, 2016
By Tara Blair
What a purr-fect day to show your best friend some love and affection with a big hug. June 4th marks Hug Your Cat Day, a day where cat owners everywhere can rejoice and squeeze their furry buddies until the sun goes down. But, hugging your whiskered pal is just the tip of the iceberg. At Gale, we took a deeper look into how hugging improves your mind, body, and soul.
Save your catnap for later and read what we found!
Did you know? Healthy Hugs, an article written in Gale’s General OneFile, discovered hugs can help fight the common cold. Hugs are a sign of support, and people with stronger support networks have stronger immune systems. Get Healthy with Heaps of Hugs and Kisses from Gale’s Global Issues in Context found that hugs can also lower blood pressure, ward off heart disease, and reduce stress. Isn’t that just the cat’s meow? Hugging your feline friend can help keep your body healthy.
But how can this glorious holiday benefit my mind you ask? Research published in the journal Psychological Science revealed that hugs and touch significantly reduce worry of mortality. The Association for Psychological Science found that hugs may alleviate existential fears for people with low self-esteem. As if that’s not enough, as we embrace, we immediately reduce the amount of the stress hormone, cortisol, produced in our bodies. Hugs also make our bodies release tension and send calming messages to the brain. How paw-some is that? Give that kitty a hug, for your mind’s sake!
Last, but certainly not least, we ventured into how Hug Your Cat Day is going to inspire your soul. DePauw University psychologist Matt Hertenstein found that the simple act of a hug isn’t just felt on our arms. When we hug, oxytocin (also known as “the cuddle hormone”) is released, making us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. This chemical leads to more love and less depression, giving our soul that paw-sitive, daily boost it needs.
As you can see, research proves that hugging your fur-ball can enhance all aspects of life. So don’t forget to clench that feline friend of yours tightly tomorrow, and make June 4th a day you won’t furr-get!