We can agree that there are things you need to do to take care of your body. Eating right and exercising every day can help you physically, but we seem to forget that our mental health needs care, too.
According to an article on psychologytoday.com, hugging isn't just a display of affection; frequent hugs can actually help you live a better life.
Studies have shown that those who were hugged and cuddled often as children have fewer stress symptoms when they become adults. They have more confidence and more self-esteem than those whose parents didn't cuddle and hug them as much. One of the reasons for this is because the hormone oxytocin is released when we are touched. Oxytocin elevates feelings of attachment, connection, trust, and intimacy.
Healthline.com states in a recent report that scientists have found that hugs can also reduce anxiety in people with low self-esteem, and keeps people from isolating because it reminds them of their mortality. Hugging shows support for others, while making us feel less lonely. Hugs lower our heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is harmful to our health.
So how many hugs does one person need a day? According to Virginia Satir, a well-known family therapist, most people need four hugs a day for mental health, but more is always better.
Another way to enhance your quality of life, is to adopt a dog. Though having a pet may have an impact on your quality of life, research has shown that dogs really do make your life better.
In May 2013, the American Heart Association (AHA) released a scientific statement that showed owning a dog reduces heart disease risk factors and help you live longer.
Being a dog owner motivates you to be more active by taking your dog for a walk, or run, or playing ball with them. The study showed that dogs also reduce stress and prevent loneliness.
Other factors that impact your mental health include your job, your home life, your friends, your economic situation, how social you are, your attitude about life, and more.