When faced with a stressful situation, women benefit from a hug. Men don’t benefit nearly as much. In a new study published in the journal PLOS One, Dutch researchers assessed the stress responses to hugs from a romantic partner in 76 people. Women who received a hug from their partner showed significant drops in levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. The researchers believe that hugs and other signs of affection cause your body to release a neurotransmitter called oxytocin, which reduces cortisol. This improved stress response, plus the social support provided by someone else, appears to protect you from the negative effects of stress.
That’s Gotta Hurt
The Injuries That Changed Sports Forever
Through the stories of a dozen athletes whose injuries and recovery advanced the field (including Joan Benoit, Michael Jordan, Brandi Chastain, and Tommy John), Dr. Geier explains how sports medicine makes sports safer for the pros, amateurs, student-athletes, and weekend warriors alike.Get the Book