Need a hug? Studies show you do.

Science shows that this simple action has some serious pay offs. Recent studies have shown that four to twelve hugs a day bring great health benefits. A good hug lasts longer than 20 seconds and must be given and received by people in whom you trust. A renowned family therapist and expert on the subject says: "We need four hugs a day to survive. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth."

Why you should embrace more members of your family? Here are 10 very good reasons to do so:

1. It creates an instant blanket

Being hugged gives you a feeling of companionship and relieves loneliness and insecurity. It helps build you up emotionally. Studies show that children who receive more hugs relation to other people have fewer behavioral problems.

2. Look for smiling side effects

Receiving a hug makes you smile and allows you to see things more positively. Being hugged also gives you a sense of happiness and wellbeing.

3. It boosts self esteem

No one can deny that receiving a long, warm hug makes you feel loved, valued and special.

4. A family that hugs together, stays together

A united family can show their love through hugging. Reaching out to give a hug to a loved one shows your support and acts as a way to comfort them when they are sad. Hugging is a powerful tool to bring families together.

5. It can be a mini massage

Hugs help relax your muscles and release body tension. Holding all that stress in your body can make you more prone to getting sick, so hug away!

6. Hugs make happiness

A simple hug can promote a positive attitude, taking us out of solitude and isolation. Hugs also trigger the production of dopamine, the hormone responsible for happiness. It doesn't matter whether you are giving the hug or receiving it, oxytocin levels are increased.

7. It erases anxiety and stress

Receiving hugs often reduces anxiety and causes more people to stay calm and cheerful. Happiness is a wonderful way to combat the anxiety and stress you might be feeling.

8. Hugs and your health

Studies show that the hormone oxtocin is released into your blood stream when you give a hug, lowering your blood pressure. It can also help improve your memory. Be careful, though; hugging someone you don't know well can have the opposite effect.

9. It teaches you valuable lessons

Hugging can improve your ability to relate with others socially. It's a physical act of gratitude. After all, the act of giving a hug is like giving a gift. Choose to share a little of yourself and your warmth to bring others closer to you.

10. Hugs have no words

Sometimes what we say isn't with words. Body language is just as important as verbal language. In a family that is happy, hugging will come naturally, communicating support and affection.

Do not be afraid to hug your loved ones. Don't miss out on the chance to hug or be hugged!. Why not start now and surprise someone in your family with a big bear hug?

This is an adaptation and translation of the original article, "Diez razones para abrazar más tu familia". It has been republished here with permission.

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