In the News (from DailyMail): “Hugging a loved one isn’t just a great way to bond – it has several physical benefits as well.
“Scientists found that the hormone oxytocin was released into the blood stream when you hold a friend close. This lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and anxiety and can even improve your memory.
“However, you have to be selective over who you hug. Giving a polite embrace to someone you don’t know well can have the opposite effect, according to research from the University of Vienna.
“Oxytocin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, is primarily known for increasing bonding, social behaviour and closeness between parents, children and couples.
“Increased oxytocin levels have been found, for example, in partners in functional relationships. In women, it is also produced during the childbirth process and during breastfeeding in order to increase the mother’s bond with the baby.
“Hugging can also soften your personality. The researchers said someone who hugs loved ones often become more empathetic over time.
“Neurophysiologist Jürgen Sandkühler, said: ‘The positive effect only occurs, however, if the people trust each other, if the associated feelings are present mutually and if the corresponding signals are sent out.
“’If people do not know each other, or if the hug is not desired by both parties, its effects are lost.’”
My Comment: This is only the beginning of knowledge about the need to create a friendly environment for all people, and especially for children at home and at school! This is one of the first conditions of the method of integral education.