Hugging is one of the most powerful ways to express love, happiness, joy, fear or sadness. By hugging each other we show care and compassion which help us to connect emotionally on a deeper level.

According to Virginia Satir, who is a family therapist, we need about 4 hugs a day for survival, around 8 for maintenance and 12 for growth.

Hugs are essential for our overall health and well-being. Keep reading to find out why we should give and receive hugs on a daily basis:

• By pressuring the sternum while hugging, we stimulate the activation of the Solar Plexus Chakra which, in turn, encourages the function the thymus gland. In this way, it regulates the production of white blood cells that are responsible for our immunity.

• Hugs calm the soul, soothe the pain and help us escape the emotional torture.

• Hugs reduce the level of cortisol in the body, thus lowering the level of stress.

• By providing closeness and warmth, hugging also increases the mood.

• It reduces body tension and eliminates pain by relaxing the muscles and stimulating the circulation in the soft tissues.

• According to a 2013 study, hugs reduce fear and anxiety in people who have low self-esteem.

• When we hug each other the level of oxytocin, which is also known as “a love hormone”, increases, thus making us feel happier.

• Regular hugging also balances the nervous system, which is evident in the skin conductance. The electricity and moisture in the skin indicate a well-balanced nervous system.

• Hugging can decrease the heart rate which reduces your risk of cardiac illnesses.

• Hugs are a form of meditation. They teach us to live in the moment and get out of our circular thinking patterns.

• Hugging encourages understanding and empathy and strengthens the relationship.