Cuddling – As children, giving and receiving cuddles is an imperative part of our cognitive development, but as we age physical contact can become more elusive. With all the health benefits of cuddling, there’s no reason we should limit our snuggle sessions to intimate relationships. Read on to find out why you should bring cuddling back into your life.
What Is Cuddling?
Cuddling is best described as snuggling up to someone to show affection or warmth. We share hugs with family and friends, and we hold hands and embrace our partners.
The Benefits Of Cuddling With A Cuddle Buddy
There are many physical and mental health benefits to receive when exchanging affectionate human contact, for example:
It releases oxytocin.
One of the best benefits of a cuddle is that it triggers the release of oxytocin in our bodies. Oxytocin makes us feel good, boosts our immune system, increases our pain tolerance, helps us deal with stress and allows us to sleep better. This hormone is released upon skin-to-skin contact or by cuddling with a beloved pet. In fact, studies show that cuddling with your pet for 15 minutes or more can lower your body’s cortisol level. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone.
It lowers blood pressure.
Another advantage of cuddling is that it can reduce your blood pressure to a healthier level. During stressful times, your heart rate and blood pressure increase. Hugging or cuddling can soothe the cardiovascular system and bring those rates back to normal.
It deepens personal relationships.
Long-term relationships flourish not only because of verbal communication but also because of increased physical intimacy. A good hug after a long day is invaluable.
It deepens the bonding experience.
One study demonstrated that premature babies who were cuddled at an early age fared better as they grew. The children were evaluated at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months. They were also evaluated at ages 5 and 10. The children who were cuddled as infants demonstrated better sleeping habits, focus, and stress-management skills. Due to these results, hospitals invite volunteers to cuddle babies in the NICU.
Cuddling Positions & How To Cuddle
There are several cuddling positions to try with your cuddle buddy or partner with their consent. Here are a few cuddle positions and what they mean:
Cuddling Position #1 – Spooning
The most popular cuddling position is spooning. One partner wraps their arms around the other partner while both are lying on their sides. The small of the back of one partner is nestled in the stomach of the other.
Cuddling Position #2 – Half-Spoon
The half-spoon is a great way to feel warm and cozy. As one person lies on their back with an outstretched arm, the other lies on their side. The outstretched arm of the former finds its way to cuddle their partner while the latter’s arm stretches across the torso of the partner on their back.
Cuddling Position #3 – Back-To-Back
This is the perfect position for those who are a bit claustrophobic. Just as it says, both partners lie with their backs touching.
Cuddling Position #4 – Honeymoon Hug
The honeymoon hug is when two people lie face-to-face with their limbs entwined.
Cuddling Position #5 – Sweetheart Cradle
If you are seeking some nurturing or affection from your partner, the sweetheart cradle is a great choice. In this position, one partner’s head lies on the other’s chest while they hold each other close.
Cuddling Position #6 – Leg Hug
Once both partners are settled, one partner will place their leg on top of the other’s leg.
Cuddling Position #7 – Lap Pillow
Placing your head on your snuggle buddy’s lap or vice versa is a sign that you trust that person. This is a popular position while watching a favorite movie.
Cuddling Position #8 – Arm Overlap
As the name suggests, this cuddle position features both partners facing one another with their arms draped over each other. This is a nice position for having an intimate conversation with your partner.
For those who do not have a designated cuddle partner, a professional cuddler or “cuddlist” may be the answer. Cuddling services provide human touch for those who feel the need. With the evolution of today’s more distant society, it is no surprise that people are craving touch.
Cuddling businesses are clear about setting boundaries. During a session, a cuddlist offers strictly platonic cuddling to their clients. For those who are comfortable with others and love to cuddle, hiring a cuddlist or joining a cuddle party can be a great solution for stress.
To Cuddle or Not to Cuddle
Whether you have a designated cuddler in your life, a professional cuddlist, or love to cuddle with your cat, the benefits of cuddling go far beyond feeling warm and cozy. Everyone gets pleasure from a little cuddle time from premature infants to the elderly. Remember, even a quick cuddle can boost a person’s well-being!