In the increasingly hectic and stressful year of 2020, people seek peace wherever they can find it – from frolicking through the fields to adopting plants. But now there is another natural way to restore your cortisol levels: cow-hugging.
People in several parts of the world have begun to embrace the alleged wellness trend that allegedly originated in the Netherlands, where it is known as the “cow hug.”
According to the BBC, the use of hugging cows is believed to reduce stress in humans by releasing the binding hormone oxytocin.
Cows are selected specifically for their warm body temperature and calm demeanor, the outlet reported.
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“Cows are very relaxed animals, they do not fight, they do not get into trouble,” a farm owner promoting this practice told the BBC. “You come to the fields and we have some special hugging cows and you can lay next to them [them] – people think it’s very relaxing. “
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Farms in the US and Switzerland have also adopted wellness mode, which according to a 2007 study in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science also benefits the cows.
The researchers found that when the animals are rubbed, massaged or pet, they also experience relaxation and joy.
“This suggests that cows may in part experience human ironing of body regions, which are often licked in the same way as social licking,” the researchers write in their study.
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However, if you are not near a farm, it has also been shown that petting smaller domestic animals lowers blood pressure in humans and provides relaxation effects.