by Holly Lesnick (aka Ms. Holly)
My 8 year old son Aiden and I have a daily morning ritual. Before I’m allowed to even get up and out of bed, my husband cuddles him while carrying him to our room. Aiden crawls on me, and we cuddle and hug for a long time. Before that, I am always groggy, and tired and craving my coffee… but something happens after that hug. It invigorates me, and brings me a sense of happiness and peace. I’ve always had a feeling it does the same for him too.
Well today, I came across a simple article at benefitof.net, on the health benefits of cuddling, and it confirmed what I already knew to be true! Cuddling has many health benefits!
I’ve learned through this article, that cuddling reduces stress and induces oxytocin release. Oxytocin is produced primarily in the hypothalamus and acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. This article also states that cuddling actually lowers blood pressure, along with improving mood and relationships. Well, no wonder I’m better after my daily morning hug with Aiden, then before it!
In Kindermusik class at Grow and Sing Studios, we have what we call “quiet time”. I dim the lights, grab my guitar, and asked parents to take their child to their own space in the room where they can bond together. I quietly walk around and serenade, leading these quietly bonding families in song. I spend many moments educating parents that relaxation is a learned behavior and that the earlier we learn to relax the better. Well, in addition to this benefit, in every class, families are enjoying the health benefits of cuddling as well.
So try to get in some cuddles today, and get healthy!