A Hug A Day Keeps the Flu Away?

friendshipBy Emily Murray

While most of us look to the flu shot, perhaps we should be looking toward a more natural approach. A new study has found that those who are less frequently hugged suffer from more sever colds.

This study was published in the journal Psychological Science. In studies past we have learned the benefits that strong social ties can have on general health and well being. Depression and anxiety can lessen with social support but this is the first we have heard of how these ties can impact colds and the flu.

In order to conduct the study at it’s base Carnegie Mellon University, researches called 400 people each day to determine their levels of social support. Then, those in the study were supplied with nasal drops containing the flu or cold virus and then were quarantined for a week while their symptoms were monitored.

Surprisingly enough, those who reported the highest levels of support also had the fewest amount of severe symptoms.

The reason may be pretty simple. When  we feel supported by loved ones in our lives, we typically experience lower levels of stress. Those with lower stress tend to have better overall health.

This season, remember that showing those in your social group your support and love does more than just make them feel good, it supports their health as well!