snuggle bunny

Oh, I love to snuggle.

Umm, the delicious feeling of a warm, melting cuddle.

You can let everything go, completely relax and enjoy the wonderful sense of simply being close to another person.

Your innate body wisdom is telling you it’s good for you because it feels so good.

When you were a kid,  fell down and scraped your knee, what was the #1 thing that made it feel better?  Being comforted and held by mom or dad, right?

It’s such a beautifully elegant design feature humans come equipped with.  The capacity to comfort one another by simply holding each other. So simple, so effective!

We never outgrow it.  As an adult when you’re sad, stressed, overwhelmed or in crisis, being held instantly helps you feel better.

When you’re already feeling pretty good, it helps you feel great!

I’ve experienced a natural high countless times by simply cuddling.

Extra bonus – no hangover!

otter cuddle puddle

Observe other social mammals, and you’ll see they cuddle, a lot.

We are, after all, social mammals.

Human touch is not a luxury item,

it’s a basic need essential to our overall wellbeing.

Remember that old psychology class film of the touch deprived rhesus monkey baby? It becomes sociopathic.  I know this is an extreme case, but you get the correlation.  We all get a little off balance when we’re not grounded and comforted by human touch.

Not that I personally need science to support the claim that cuddling is good for you, but there actually is a scientific reason.

Cuddling releases oxytocin.

Oxytocin is a hormone that makes you feel good.

You know that elated feeling you get when you’re in love – that’s oxytocin coursing through your system.

Have you ever had a baby fall asleep on your chest? It’s so compellingly sweet and yummy, you don’t ever want to move. Yay for oxytocin.

sleeping baby

The effects of oxytocin help boost your immune system, relieve pain, reduce stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure and creates bonds between couples, friends and parents and their children.

Women have an advantage of feeling more comfortable cuddling because we’re naturally more at ease with platonic physical intimacy.  There’s still strong social conditioning against guys touching.  This works against them because it limits their ability to get their touch needs met.

Cuddling is an essential part of love making.  Making love without a significant amount of snuggles, at least for me and I suspect for many people, would just not feel right, complete or satisfying.

While cuddling is definitely not just for romantic couples it can be harder to come by if you’re single.

Happily, cuddling is a reliable staple in the ‘tribal’ culture that I’m a part of and becoming more of an overall trend.

Cuddle parties have been around for years and cuddle therapists are starting to pop up everywhere.

human cuddle puddle

If you’re not already in a cuddle friendly community how do you get your cuddle needs met?

Here are some ideas:

~ Create your own cuddle puddle party with friends that are open to it.  There are even cuddle party guidelines and trainings available if you want support

~ Invite a close friend to snuggle.  Make sure to communicate your intentions clearly so they don’t mistake it as a sexual advance

~ If you’re new and kinda shy to snuggling watch a movie or a sunset with a friend while sitting shoulder to shoulder or head on lap. The movie provides a sort of socially acceptable context and distraction from awkwardness that may arise as a ‘new cuddler’.

~ Exchange shoulder or foot rubs. This is a great introduction to platonic intimate touch.

3 girls wrapped in blanket at sunset

Even if you’re by yourself you can enjoy some yummy cuddliness.

I’m blessed with an abundance of cuddling in my life and I still use the tips below daily!

~ get a hot water bottle or microwavable body warmer (a soft cloth sack filled with flax, rice or corn*) and enjoy the warmth on your feet, belly, hands, where ever it feels good

~ wrap yourself in a microfiber furry blanket. There’s something about the soft furriness that feels so good to our mammalian selves

~ give yourself a yummy, sensual rub down during a nice long, bath, shower or hot tub

 

I hope this post inspires you to get more cuddling in your life and spread cuddle medicine.

I truly believe platonic physical intimacy helps create a healthier more joyful, loving world.

I would love to hear from you. click here to share any thoughts, comments or suggestions around cuddling.

sea lion cuddle puddle