We all know the feeling of hugging a friend or loved one and experiencing a rush of energy. As it turns out, that warm, happy feeling isn't just in our heads. There's new scientific evidence that shows that certain embraces also have a positive and powerful effect on hormones in our bodies.

Scientists at the University of Vienna have shown that certain embraces lead to a release of the hormone oxytocin in our bodies. Oxytocin is also released in large quantities in women during and after childbirth, effectively strengthening the bond between mother and child. The hormone is known to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and boost memory.

According to the Daily Mail, lots of embraces during a lifetime can also lead someone to become more empathetic.

But there is a catch.

Not all hugs result in a release of oxytocin. Neurophysiologist Jürgen Sandkühler told the Daily Mail that when we embrace strangers or people we don't like, the affect is reversed. In fact, these hugs can actually create more anxiety.

"This can lead to pure stress because our normal distance-keeping behavior is disregarded," Sandkühler said. "In these situations, we secrete the stress hormone cortisol."

So don't be afraid to go in for an embrace the next time you see a friend or a loved one, but remember to be careful who you hug.

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Too bad most of you missed the great interview Oprah had on her network last week.

Yes, she pulled in more than 12 million U.S. viewers for that two-part conversation with Lance Armstrong, and good for her, because the cold reality of media is that even Oprah needs ratings to pay the bills.

But we wish her segment with Nick Vujicic could've been just as popular.

Who's Nick Vujicic?

Well, for starters, he isn't an arrogant sociopath who expressed minimal contrition for trying to ruin the lives of those who spoke the truth.

And he isn't a professional athlete.

But he does surf, snorkel, golf and play soccer, which is only a big deal because he was born without arms and legs.

Nick was teased in school about his condition and attempted suicide when he was 10. But then he found the inspiration to make the most of his life. Now 30, he got married last year and travels the world to inspire others.

"I had parents who were my heroes," he says. "They always said: 'You can either be angry for what you don't have or be thankful for what you do have.'"

Here's the video clip with more Nick's motivational message:

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Tommy Carroll, a 20-year-old from outside Chicago, looks quite natural on a skateboard.

Carroll glides through skateparks with ease, mixing impressive tricks with dangerous spills. In his 10 years on the board he's developed an extremely impressive knack for the sport.

And oh yeah, did we mention he's blind?

Carroll, a sophomore journalism major at Northwestern University, was born with a retina cancer that blinded him by the age of 2. But that didn't stop him from picking up skateboarding in his free time.

As Carroll explains in this interview with Tony Hawk, when he rides at a new location he gradually familiarizes himself with each aspect of a skatepark. He'll use his senses to feel out his surroundings, and after a certain number of rides he says he usually feels comfortable enough to begin trying tricks.

You can see Carroll showing off his skills in the video below, which was produced by the Dutch retailer Perry Sports.

"I think everybody should know that everything happens for a reason," Carroll says in the video. "And that there's always a way to overcome an obstacle if you really want it enough."

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A stellar cross country runner in high school, Carroll is also an avid drummer.

(H/T to BuzzFeed)

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