Having trouble getting into the Holiday spirit? Feel as though there’s a grey cloud above your head? Ask for a hug!
According to a Canadian study, people who get regular hugs are the most likely to report good mental health, even more so than individuals who regularly attend religious worship.
Generally speaking, Canadians seem happy. This study found that over 60 percent of the population reported having excellent or very good mental health. The national survey also revealed that people who said they got hugs “all the time” were twice as likely as those who didn’t to say their mental health was excellent. This makes sense, since displays of affection have a direct link to being part of an active, loving community. The respondents who reported good mental health were also more likely to say they had a friend to turn to when they had problems.
At the same time, the way participants described their mental health didn’t change at all as a result of how often they attended religious worship or if they described themselves as being very spiritual. However, this doesn’t rule out the mental health benefits of being spiritual, especially in times of stress, since several studies in the past have noted that the incidence of depression and anxiety is lower among religious individuals than in the general population. It seems that religion plays a positive role in how people adapt to major life changes.
In any case, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the hugs you are offered… and why not show the affection you have for your loved ones with a warm embrace? New Year’s Day is certainly the perfect day to fill up on hugs!