Hugging is one of the most important aspects of human interaction, not simply because it gives yourself and the other person a sense of security and love but also because a genuine, meaningful hug is incredibly powerful for good health and totally necessary in our everyday lives.
– Help to promote happiness and relieve depression because physical touch increases serotonin which also helps to regulate the production of dopamine and dopamine is in charge of our pleasure system, allowing us to have feelings of enjoyment.
– Help to diminish anxiety and stress because when we are hugged the levels of our oxytocin increases. Oxytocin is an incredibly powerful hormone that enables us to produce feelings of calmness, trust and reduce stress.
– Boost the immune system. It has actually been proven in America that hugging can boost the immune system due to a couple of reasons, one being the fact that people who have greater social support and experience hugs are not as stressed and therefore are better protected from stress related infections and don’t get as run down. The second being that when you have an extended hug the solar plexus chakra is activated, this then stimulates the thymus gland which is directly linked to the health of our immune systems.
– Help us to stay present and connected. When we take a moment to hug someone, we are making a choice to connect with that person and it is so important to be aware in those moments as the more aware we are of ourselves, the better!
NB for hugs to have the desired affects they have to be for at least 20 seconds. So make it count!
“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.” Virginia Satir.