The Awesome Secret To Never Getting A Cold That'S Also Jeremy Piven'S Best Line From 'Entourage'
Turns out, Ari Gold (as played by Jeremy Piven) was right. The obnoxious agent from HBO's Entourage—soon to be a feature film—would often implore people, usually people he'd just offended, to "Hug it out, bitch." And he was on to something. Maybe not as a way of compensating for douchiness, but receiving hugs can make you less susceptible to colds, research from Carnegie Mellon University suggests.
In the study, people who embraced frequently were less likely to become infected with the common cold after they were exposed to the virus than those who didn’t hug as much. And if they did come down with the illness, they tended to experience less severe symptoms.
Huggers also seemed to be protected from the usual infection spike seen in people during times of stress or conflict.
(Worried at work? These are the 5 Weird Things Job Stress Does to Your Body.)
Hugs are a physical way to show social support and let a pal know that you’ve got his or her back, says study author Denise Janicki-Deverts, Ph.D.
Knowing someone’s on your side can help reduce stress, which may blunt the release of hormones that can otherwise leave you vulnerable to those viruses. Plus, the physical aspect of touch involved in a squeeze may also play a part.
That’s not to say you should walk down the street with your arms outstretched ready to reel someone in. Random hugs don’t fit the bill, says Janicki-Deverts.
Instead, it’s about fostering close relationships so you have someone to turn to when your stress levels skyrocket.
(Don’t worry if your social circle is sparse—here’s How to Make New Friends.)