The importance and intimacy of cuddling is something that I can go on about at great length. There’s been research about how it stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone that is linked to boosting the immune system, bonding emotionally to others, and just generally feeling good about your place in the universe.
All I know is that a hug feels good, reduces stress, and is a wonderful way to affirm welcome, support, acceptance, and love.
We cuddle a lot in this household – we’re tactile people because it feels good, and sometimes just as a touchstone of “we’re here” – and it’s led to a little ritual here if one of us is getting up before the other where we put a pillow in our place to cuddle.
Without fail, I or Lady M will snuggle into that pillow, even if we’re asleep or just in that shallow almost sleep as we’ve felt the other moving. It is just the cutest thing to see – and that’s the emotional reward for whichever of us just got up: seeing a contented smile and a cuddle as we head out to work.