Say you've had a hard week. Drama with your mom over the bridesmaid dresses, and the photographer you really wanted just happens to be booked the day of your wedding. And you and your best friend (ex maid of honor?) just had a mega fight. Here's what you do: Find your fiancé and hug him—as long and hard as you can.
Sure, hugs are a sweet way to show your affection, but there's an even better reason to lock arms with your love: recent studies have linked hugging with a serious, and measurable, boost of happiness.
Here's the trick, though: for hugging to release the dose of happiness-boosting oxytocin that you need, a side hug, or quick pat on the back just won't do. Experts say that you really should hold that pose for at least twenty seconds. May we suggest: the before-work and after-work hug; the bedtime hug; and the on-the-cereal-aisle-at-the-grocery store hug.
What's so great about oxytocin? According to a slew of research, this so-called "cuddle" or "feel-good" hormone is credited with a long list of benefits. Studies have shown that it can make us feel happier, more outgoing, closer to the ones we love, more loyal, less forgetful, and (shy brides look away now!) more likely to orgasm during sex. Wow, right?