Would you cuddle with a cat
research Cuddling makes you happy - measurable!
Those who cuddle get in a good mood. We can actually always use a lot of that. And yet we do not allow ourselves enough of these caresses. Because we are stressed, always have something important to do or our smartphone draws our attention instead of the loved ones by our side. But maybe we will cuddle more when it is scientifically proven that it is good for us?
Cuddling stimulates trillions of receptors
Dr. Martin Grunwald researched exactly this and assumed that every touch initially slightly deforms the skin. In this way the receptors of our sense of touch are stimulated. We have a lot more of this than any of our other senses. Estimates assume a number in the trillions. That means: Even with a light touch, millions of receptors can react quickly.
Touch stimuli release cuddle and happiness hormones
If we are touched, for example, the hormone oxytocin is released. It strengthens cohesion and makes us empathetic. Aggression is dampened, stress and anxiety are reduced. That is why it is also called the "cuddle hormone". But caresses also ensure that the messenger substance serotonin is used. It binds to certain receptors in the body and thus influences, among other things, the contraction of blood vessels. In the brain, serotonin provides what we know as happiness. Hence the name: happiness hormone.
Cuddling makes you measurably happy
It is measurable that physical closeness is good for us. The heart rate decreases, EEG examinations show that we are demonstrably better. Breathing becomes shallower, we find peace. Positive emotions arise, we just feel better. You don't need a 30-minute massage from a professional for this! Just a quick hug can make us feel better. Nevertheless, it can be a little more. Because when you cuddle, heat is also transferred and it is good for us. Just now.
Primates have an average body contact of an hour and a half per day. People over 30 in a steady partnership often don't even spend five minutes.
People who have to get along without physical contact for a long time can be severely impaired in their mental as well as their physical well-being. It is not for nothing that institutions in which the elderly live increasingly allow pets. Because cuddling - for example with a cat or a guinea pig - has a similarly exhilarating effect.
Touching oneself is not a substitute
Cuddling with yourself is not an option, says the haptics researcher. But your own touch can have an effect - albeit a completely different one. Dr. Martin Grunwald with his team. It's about the 400 to 800 times we touch ourselves in the face every day. Grunwald's hypothesis: We do this to create a balance for our brain. We touch our faces when our brain is tense, or as Grunwald says, "when our brain activity leaves the middle level". He believes that touch provides a balance when we process more information or emotions. Forgotten things can come back to us, unpleasant things appear less threatening. However, this only works unconsciously, says the researcher. If we purposely touch our noses, the spell is over.
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