Actually Eases Symptoms
This is the season for colds, but fortunately it’s also the season of social activities and hugs, and according to a new study published in Psychological Science, the latter may ease the intensity of the former. Researchers curious to see if social support could have a positive effect on common illness took 404 volunteers whose stress levels made them cold-susceptible, exposed them to cold germs, and documented the amount of support they received from others in the form of hugs. Those who received hugs on a daily basis suffered less severe cold symptoms, regardless of their initial levels of stress, than the less-hugged. The effect was even stronger for those who perceived that they were receiving others' support. Study authors recommend daily hugs to help boost one's immune system.