Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Hugs protect our mood from the negative effects of interpersonal conflict

A new study finds that hugs can help people feel better when they experience conflict A new study finds that hugs can help people feel better when they experience conflict
Melissa Porter | 05 October, 2018, 23:06

Pooling the results, they saw a clear correlation between hugs and moods.

Hugs used as a relatively common support behavior individuals engage in with a range of partners was the focus of this study, involving 404 participants who were interviewed every night for 14 consecutive days in regards to their conflicts, hug receipt, and moods.

Yes it seems a cuddle seemed to increase positive feelings and reduce negative ones on days when people experienced relationship problems. For instance, one study published earlier this year suggested how the act of hand-holding could provide pain relief, reducing the intensity by around 34 percent. Each person also went through a physical exam and filled out a questionnaire about their health and social network at the beginning of the study.

Oregon Health and Science University offers tips on resolving conflict. The effects of hugs may have lingered too, as interviewees reported a continued attenuation of negative mood the next day.

Assessing more than 400 adults, scientists found that getting a hug on the day of a conflict was linked to smaller drops in positive emotions and a smaller rise in negative ones.

Hugging it out can help erase the negative emotions from your day.

The researchers found that was true regardless of gender, age, race, marital status, number of social interactions and overall mood. Such results immediately segway to other findings that show social support (having meaningful relationships) protects people from the cold.

"We still have questions about when, how, and for whom hugs are most helpful".

While most prior research has focused on the role of touch in romantic relationships, Murphy and his team concentrated on consensual - not sexual - hugging. Murphy's study didn't examine how distinctions like these affect people's reactions to hugging, but he says he and his colleagues are working on another study that will include more granular questions, like whether the hug was explicitly wanted and who gave it. The more often people hugged, the less likely they were to get sick, even among individuals who frequently had tense interactions.

"Hugs, at least among close others, might be a simple, straightforward, effective way to show support to someone you care about who is experiencing conflict with a relationship in their life", Murphy concluded.