How often do you have a nice, long hug? Some people hug a lot, some shy away from physical contact, and most are probably somewhere in the middle. Wherever you are on the hug spectrum, read this to learn how to get huggier, how to give a good hug, and how hugs improve your overall well being. The power of a good hug is not to be underestimated!
Personally, I’ve never been a hugger – I tend to tense up when somebody wraps their arms around me. But I’m realising that holding on to the people I love is more than just symbolic, it’s actually good for me and good for them.
Physical touch is really important
It’s well known that the physical touch has great healing power and can be even be measured through MRIs and other laboratory tests.
Premature babies used to be kept in incubators and touched as little as possible because of the danger of infection. But it became obvious to the medical profession that babies who were touched more had a much better chance of surviving (by their parents but also by anyone who cared about them enough to touch them lovingly).
In other words, babies literally died when they weren’t held and hugged. As you grow up, you are less likely to die if you don’t physically connect with another being, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t still need to be hugged.
When you’re not hugged
You’re more likely to be stressed out, to get sick, to feel anxious or isolated. Not being touched enough can even make you more aggressive!
When you are hugged
Physical things happen in your body. You get a shot of oxytocin, which is the hormone that plays an important role in social interaction and bonding. This hormone is only released into your body as a result of the physical expression of love (and childbirth too). It’s often known as the “love hormone” (www.lifescience.com) because when you experience it, you feel a surge of love. This is truly the power of a good hug.
There’s been a lot of research suggesting that social isolation, and with it, the inaccessibility of hugs, has led to all kinds of mental health difficulties. This makes intuitive sense – when you’re alone and connecting with people only via zoom or social media, it’s not quite the same as holding a living and breathing entity.
Healing physical contact
Studies have shown that healing physical contact includes more than holding your partner, it can be your dog or cat or whatever pet you love, but hugging is the gold standard.
Apparently, how to give a good hug is to hang on for as long as 20 seconds. But even if you can’t handle that long of a hug, the important thing to remember is add more hugs to your day.
Blue-footed booby Success formula: How to add more hugs to your life
- Experiment with hugging more
- Try hugging more often
- Attempt hugging for longer
Hugging is good for you, you need to do it more, and do it more often. Now get out there, booby, and get your hug on.
If it has made a positive impact on your life, please email us or leave a comment on this blog. And as always, if you enjoyed reading this or found it helpful, please go ahead and share it 🙂