Sometimes a squabble that started about who forgot to take the bins out, spirals into an existential crisis about the state of your relationship. Next minute you’re both giving each other the cold shoulder and it feels like there’s no bridging the frosty gap.
Well, research has found one thing that could help simmer down a dispute with your significant other and put you both in a better mood ASAP. A new study published in PLOS One has determined that hugging can reduce the mood changes associated with conflict.
Researchers spoke to 404 adults every night for two weeks, analysing their fights, their moods and interpersonal touch. Their results showed that those who had snuggled on the same day as a conflict didn’t have their positive emotions affected as much by the dispute and the bad vibes provoked were less intense. This was found in both women and men.
This isn't the first research to demonstrate the power of physical touch – multiple studies suggest that physical contact can improve our relationships, up wellbeing and even reduce pain.
This is because our bodies produce more of the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin and in turn, less cortisol. Our heart rate and blood pressure also goes down and our brain waves make the change to relaxation mode. And research shows when we’re in a state of zen, we’re more likely to be feeling satisfied with our S.O too.
All the more reason to hug it out.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health