When was the last time you hugged someone? Did you know that a hug is a powerful way of healing the mind, body and soul? The average length of a hug is 3 seconds but when a hug lasts 20 seconds, there is a therapeutic effect on the body. Research has shown hugging is extremely effective at healing sickness, disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress as it instantly boots oxytocin (love hormone) levels and releases dopamine in the brain (pleasure hormone) which gives you the feeling of happiness which in turn heals feelings of loneliness, isolation and anger. Oxytocin has many benefits in our physical and mental health as it helps us to relax, feel safe and calms our anxiety and fears. It is released into our bodies by our pituitary gland, lowering both our heart rate and our cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress, high blood pressure and heart disease.