We all know someone who suffers from some form of depression. According to the World Health Organization, over 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide–which means, we most likely know more than one person in our lives that suffer from the mental health disorder. When we see our loved ones suffering and having a hard time, the first thing we think is simple: how can we help? There are so many times when we wish we could just issue a “quick fix” and make all of their problems and issues disappear–but, we know deep down, that’s impossible. There are, however, some ways in which we can help our loved ones from time to time–even if just for a short period. According to some studies scientists have conducted, if you’re in a relationship with someone who suffers from depression, you can easily ease their troubles by doing one simple act: cuddling.
Let’s face it, everyone loves to cuddle with their partner. It makes us feel close, loved, and protected. I know for a simple fact there’s nothing better than cuddling with my boyfriend after a long, stressful day. It turns out, there’s a scientific reason we’re all just big cuddle bugs in the bedroom.
Scientists have done studies on individuals when they’re cuddling and discovered that when you are snuggling with someone (loved one or even a pet), your brain releases oxytocin, which is sometimes called “the love hormone.” It’s the same hormone that is released when you orgasm during sex. The hormone is well known to produce a “feel good” mentality over one’s brain, which, is a safe bet to fighting depression. As well, the scientists determined that when oxytocin is released, it lowers your cortisol levels. Cortisol is another hormone that is released into your brain, but, it’s known as “the stress hormone.” This controls the feelings usually associated with anxiety and depression.
Essentially, there is no one definite cure for depression, as everyone’s symptoms and struggles with the mental health disorder can vary immensely. However, more studies and tests are confirming that oxytocin is a good way to help combat the symptoms that make us feel alone, unhappy, and want to completely isolate ourselves when our depression is at its worst. While cuddling can’t cure your depression, it can most definitely give you some relief–even if only for a short period of time. And, if you ask me, that’s worth a lot. So, grab your boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend or your dog and snuggle a bit more–it’s good for you.