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Modern men now enjoy a cheeky cuddle as much as women do, new research has revealed. A detailed study found far from being macho characters who hide their feelings, most men are now happy to admit they frequently need a cuddle amid their busy lifestyles and hectic work schedules.
Other things which men now turn to in the hour of need are music, fresh air and a get together with friends.
As well as the above, women also admitted they reach for a cup of tea when they are glum, while chatting to a friend on the phone and watching their favourite TV programme also featured highly.
Overall the figures show we are more likely to flick the kettle on than opt for an alcoholic drink to cheer us up.
The study into the little things that improve our mood was carried out among 5,000 adults by AXA.
Spokesman Chris Jones, said:
”We know it’s the little things that mean a lot to people – we often make assumptions that grand gestures are how we cheer each other up but this shows that everyday little things are what really make the difference.”
And psychologist Donna Dawson added:
”Little things mean a lot in life, and many of them are free: walking outdoors or listening to our favourite music both work by calming us through using our senses of sight, sound, smell and taste.
”And heightening our senses can, in turn, lift our spirits, especially on those dark miserable days of winter.
”As ‘touch’ is the most powerful sense of them all, this explains why a hug is the number one ‘mood changer’.
”When the skin is rubbed, it produces hormones and enzymes that boost the immune system and increase feelings of well-being. Women’s brains are naturally more ‘wired’ to be receptive to touch – which is why they find hugging easier to do than men.”
Top of the list of little things that mean a lot was a hug, with 55% of people saying it was their number one seasonal mood improver.
Other things to make the top ten included spending one-on-one time with a partner, comfort food and a call or text from a relative.
Of the things that didn’t make the top ten, alcohol came in at 13th place.
The traditional hot bath took 15th place and, despite being known to physiologically improve well-being, exercise was down in 16th place in the study.
The study also examined the people we turn to on bad days, with 41% of people said their other half provides the most meaningful support.
However, men find their partner slightly more supportive than women do with 45% of men, versus 39% of women, stating they are their ultimate cheer-giver.
Next in the list came ‘a best friend’, with 10% of men and 16% of women stating that they are their first choice of support. Pets are fifth in the list of ‘people’ we turn to with six per cent of people saying they are their number one confidante.
By contrast, Dads are low down on the list, with just 1% of respondents saying they would seek out paternal reassurance when feeling down – this compares to 7% of people who turn to their Mum.