Did you know that there is a National Hugging Day? January 21st for the past 30 years is a celebration of this important gesture. Hugging is emotionally and physically healing and relieves stress and helps us connect with others. Research has shown that a proper, deep hug where hearts are pressing together can have many benefits.
What is a proper, deep hug? A firm, full body hug of at least 20 seconds is needed to release oxytocin – the “love” hormone – into the body, which has numerous benefits. An article by Dr. Ken Humphrey on mindbodygreen.com offers the following.
- Hugs instantly boost oxytocin levels which decrease stress hormones and heal feelings of loneliness, anger and isolation.
- Hugs build trust and a sense of safety.
- Hugs lift one’s serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.
- Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra which stimulates the thymus gland regulating and balancing the body’s production of white blood cells.
- Hugs boost self-esteem – they provide a tactile sensation that show us we are loved and special increasing feelings of self-worth.
- Hugs relax muscles, release tension in the body and take away pain because they increase circulation into the soft tissues.
- Hugs balance out the parasympathetic nervous system through the change in skin conduction (moisture and electricity).
- Hugs teach us how to give and receive.
- Hugs are similar to meditation and laughter in that they teach us to let go and be present in the moment – they connect you with your heart and your feelings and your breath.
- Hugs are a form of investment in the relationship between the two people hugging, which encourages empathy and understanding.
So give as many hugs as you can every day – they are a gift to yourself and those you hug! Looking for support on your personal journey? Call us for a FREE consultation! (And we give lots of FREE hugs!)