OK. While I am totally aware of what cuffing season is (I even wrote a couple of pieces on it that you can check out here and here), I've gotta admit that I cracked up when I saw someone post an entire cuffing-related schedule.
As you can clearly see, we've already passed by the "scouting" portion of the program. Apparently, we are now in the "drafting" part. Anyway, as I was sharing this data with a male friend of mine, he went on and on about how important it really and truly is to have a "cuddle buddy" during the fall and winter seasons. "It's not even really about sex," he said. "You just want to curl up under someone with some wine and a blanket and watch some movies all day on the couch." Uh-huh. I've known this guy long enough to know that he doesn't just want to cuddle; however, his statement is what inspired me to write this article.
Cuddling. Have you ever stopped to think what that word actually means? When you cuddle with someone, oftentimes, you are giving them an extended and affectionate hug. When you cuddle with someone, you are embracing them to show love and/or warmth and care. When you cuddle with someone, you are expressing that you want to experience a relaxed sense of intimacy with them. Cuddling is precious. And it really is such a perfect physical act for the fall season. Not only that but it comes with some solid science-based reasons for why all of us should be doing it.
So, whether you are already booed up for the fall or you're still scouting some potentials to "cuff", here are eight reasons why cuddling is one of the best things that you can do as we prepare to enter into my favorite season of the year — autumn.
1. Cuddling Reduces Your Stress Levels
Oxytocin is a natural hormone that serves as a chemical messenger to the brain. One of the things that it has a reputation for is it causes people to bond with one another whenever intimacy (like kissing, sex and cuddling) transpires. That's why one of its popular nicknames is "the love hormone". Where I'm going with this is, when you cuddle with another person and oxytocin is triggered in your system, it permeates feelings like comfort, peace and calm which results in your stress levels dropping. A lot of health-related issues including heart disease, asthma, depression, headaches and even diabetes are directly tied to stress. That's why it's a good idea to see cuddling as a way to be proactive about keeping your stress levels way down, for the sake of your overall health and well-being.
2. Cuddling Increases Your Emotional IQ
If someone were to offer you a thousand bucks to define "alexithymia", would you be able to do it? Basically, what it boils down to is not being able to either recognize or define your feelings (I should probably write something on that, huh?). And just what does this have to do with cuddling?
Well, what some researchers have discovered is that when we cuddle, it actually increases our emotional IQ levels. That's because, typically, if we are comfortable enough to cuddle with someone, we're also comfortable enough to share with them our thoughts and feelings.
Hmph. No wonder pillow talk can be so effective in relationships. Interesting.
3. Cuddling Boosts Your Immunity
As we're headed into cold and flu season (especially while we're still in the midst of a pandemic…whew), it's important to be as proactive as possible about strengthening your immune system (check out "Ready To Try 10 Quick & Easy Immune-Boosting Hacks?"). Believe it or not, one way to do that is by cuddling up with someone. I'm not kidding. There are studies citing the fact that people who hug up often are less likely to get sick when they are exposed to the viruses that lead to colds and the flu than folks who don't. So, aside from boosting your Vitamin C intake, cuddling is a proven weapon against sneezing, coughing 'n stuff.
4. Cuddling Aids in Healthy Digestion
Are you someone who battles with bloating, nausea or some form of digestion-related discomfort? Somebody needs to hurry up and cuddle with you. I'm not kidding.
Remember how I talked about how beneficial oxytocin is when it comes to reducing your stress levels? Well, when your system isn't stressed out, that takes some of the pressure off of your digestive tract, making it easier for you to process the food you eat.
Out of all of the health benefits of cuddling, I think this is the one that tripped me out the most.
5. Cuddling Boosts Your Self-Esteem
I'm thinking this particular point is a given. At the end of the day, all of us want to feel wanted and when someone cuddles with us, that message is conveyed pretty well. And when we feel like someone is into us on this kind of level, that can do wonders for our self-esteem. And when we feel good about ourselves, we tend to be more intentional about making decisions that will be good for our mind, body and spirit. Yep, cuddling is an ego booster in the best way possible as well.
6. Cuddling Helps to Block Pain Signals
Most of us have seen a television show or movie where there's a scene that features someone holding another person's hand in the hospital as the patient smiles. Believe it or not, there is actually something quite real to that because there's data to support that when we're feeling bodily pain and our hand is held, pain signals get blocked and we're able to find some relief. If that sounds unbelievable to you, you can check some info on it for yourself right here.
7. Cuddling Makes You Feel Closer to Your Partner
Last year, Web MD published an article entitled, "Need Better Sleep? Get a Partner". Aside from some of the other benefits that I've already touched on, when you're cuddling with your partner, it's a proactive way of spending some much-needed quality time as you express love through physical touch. Yep. The couple who cuddles together has a far greater chance of staying together too.
8. Cuddling Gives You a Better Night’s Rest
Speaking of bonding with your partner, if you like to spoon, I totally get it. Indeed, I do. So, let me just close all of this out by saying that I am in full support of you and your "spooning partner" doing it more often because this type of cuddling actually helps you to remain in your REM state of sleep. That way, you can get more quality rest throughout the night, so that you can wake up feeling more refreshed in the morning. So, what are you waiting for, sis? Get to cuddling.
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