Remember Hugsy? The stuffed penguin Joey had in the sitcom Friends? We all had a laugh, watching a grown-ass man snuggle with a stuffed toy at bedtime. But turns out, you need to be of a particular age to surround yourself with teddy bears and other stuffed animals.
In fact, Harvard University researchers found that people who sleep with teddy bears or any other kind of soft toy are more empathetic. And yes, this research was completely based on adult participants.
Even Indian medical experts are on the same page when it comes to adults snuggling with soft toys. Many of them say that if you are feeling alone and craving human contact, then cuddling a teddy bear can bring comfort.
You might judge others for indulging in this “kiddish” act, but before you do that read what Dr Bhavana Barmi, a renowned clinical psychologist has to say: “It might feel strange but the fact is that it’s totally fine cuddling a soft toy as it boosts your mood.”
It can make you feel stable and safe when you are pinned down by a stressful situation.
Happy to hear that? Now it’s time to know what happens when you hug your teddy
You see when you hug someone, your body releases oxytocin. Also known as the trust hormone, oxytocin lowers anxiety and acts as a stress reliever.
“When you hug oxytocin is released in your body, even if you are hugging a plush toy. It makes you feel at ease and also keeps your blood pressure in check,” explains Dr Barmi
Are there any other benefits of hugging teddies and such?
You will be surprised to know that cuddling a soft toy is not just good for your mental well-being but it is also great for your physical health too. That’s because it brings a sense of calm within you and helps you relax, physically.
“Sleeping with a soft toy is a great idea if you have had a really hard day as it relaxes your body and switches on the healing process, then may it be physical or mental,” says Dr Barmi.
So, ladies accept those teddy bears coming to you on Teddy Day gladly–or better yet, go out on the search for one yourself–to reap benefits for your emotional and mental well-being.