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Gettyimages.com/Shot of an affectionate young couple bonding together outdoors

It’s National Kissing Day! Even if you aren’t romantically involved with somebody, you can kiss your dog, kiss a friend, or kiss a family member. Pucker up to someone because a little smooching is good for you. This sweet day has been celebrated for over a decade (but we think it should have started centuries ago). While other creatures rub noses and beaks (like penguins) or lick one another (like cats and dogs) humans are the only ones who pucker their lips and truly give a kiss (although sometimes it looks like monkeys and baboons do). We figured out that kissing feels pretty great. Don’t you just get a warm feeling when you kiss a loved one? Whether it’s on the lips or cheek? There’s good reason behind that. Here are reasons kissing is good for you, on National Kissing Day.

Gettyimages.com/Mixed race couple kissing in kitchen

It bonds us

When we kiss someone, our bodies produce the hormone oxytocin, which makes us feel more bonded to the person (or pet!) we’re smooching. It’s why it’s so important to give your kids and babies several kisses a day, too.

Gettyimages.com/Couple having pillow fight on bed

It gets everyone in the mood

When it comes to romantic kissing, everyone can agree that making out is a type of foreplay that works for everyone. While some other types of foreplay may only be beneficial for one party, everyone gets in the mood during a good smooch session.

Gettyimages.com/Shot of a young woman blowing her nose and sneezing in a pharmacy

It boosts immunity

A higher incidence of kissing means a higher incidence of sex and studies have found that having regular sex can increase one’s immunity and improve the chances of fighting certain illness.

Gettyimages.com/Taken from the point of view of the camera, a young man makes a funny face for the camera as he and his wife pose for a selfie together on a city pier. She takes the selfie as she holds his chin and kisses his cheek.

It shows the world, “I’m his and he’s mine”

It’s a form of public displays of affection that shows the world, “This person is my person and I’m proud to be with him.” Showing off, publicly, your attachment to someone reinforces his ense of security in the relationship.

Gettyimages.com/Young African American man and woman embrace while on a date in a city park.

It’s briefly meditative

When you kiss, you not only close your eyes, but you’re so consumed by the sensations that, for a moment, you forget the rest of the world is around you—kind of like when you meditate.

Gettyimages.com/young afro american woman smelling at a lavender flower, wearing tanktop with with ethnic styled embroidrey, outdoos in garden at a sunny summer day

It helps with allergy season

Research has found that making out for 30 minutes can help some people have a smaller reaction to seasonal allergens.

Gettyimages.com/Cholesterol test results
Blood tube on the results of cholesterol testing. The numbers show healthy cholesterol levels. Synthetic blood is used in this studio shot.

It may lower cholesterol

Kissing fights stress, and heightened stress levels lead to elevated cholesterol levels. So kissing regularly can lower cholesterol.

Gettyimages.com/Parents talking to baby in stroller on city street

It reveals chemistry

The chemistry we feel in some kisses is our bodies saying we are biologically compatible aka would bring diverse enough DNA sets together to make the healthiest possible babies. In other words, if you feel a spark, you may make great babies together.

Gettyimages.com/Carefree African American couple piggybacking in the park and enjoying in time together.

It makes you happy!

Kissing releases endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. If you’re having a bad day, you should grab your loved one for a smooch and you will instantly feel better.

Gettyimages.com/Also known as a sphygmomanometer it is used to measure the blood pressure of patients in a medical environment.

It improves blood pressure

When you kiss someone you love, that act causes your blood vessels to dilate and when your vessels dilate, that gets blood flowing. Regular makeout sessions could improve your blood pressure.

Gettyimages.com/Woman experiencing period pains

It fights pain

Another side effect of the blood vessel dilation that happens when you kiss is that it relieves pain in your body. Steal some extra kisses when you have PMS cramps—it’s almost as good as Midol.

Gettyimages.com/Couple kissing passionately in the park.

It calms you down

Kissing also produces serotonin, so it can calm you down. When you’re feeling anxious, grab your cutie for a few pecks and you may chase away the jitters.

Gettyimages.com/Black businesswoman standing with hands on hips

It boosts self-esteem

Kissing boosts self-esteem! Who doesn’t feel more attractive and more loved after a good kiss? Make sure you get a smooch before an important meeting or any event at which you need to feel your best.

Gettyimages.com/Affectionate young couple together outdoors

It makes you feel young

I don’t know about you but, when my boyfriend and I engage in a good old-fashioned necking session, I feel like a teenager again. And that never hurts.

Gettyimages.com/Shot of a young woman brushing her teeth in her bathroom

It promotes a healthier mouth

Alright, alright—this one may be far-fetched but I know that I, personally, make a better attempt at flossing regularly since I kiss someone regularly. Nobody likes to kiss a gingivitis-ridden mouth.

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