10 reasons why we need lots of hugs each day
Hugs are a powerful way of healing. Research shows that laughter and hugging is extremely effective at healing sickness, disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress.
Research shows a proper deep hug, where the hearts are pressing together, when you feel loved and needed can benefit you in these ways:
The touch of a hug builds a nurturing relationship and helps with open and honest communication. It brings trust and a sense of safety.
Hugs can instantly boost oxytocin levels, which helps to heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.
Holding a hug for an extended period of time raises your serotonin levels, improving mood and helping to create happiness. Serotonin also helps to regulate your sleep cycle.
Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates on the heart activates the Solar Plexus Chakra (one of the body’s main energy centres). This in turn stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells, which helps to keep you healthy and disease free.
Hugging boosts self-esteem and shows us that we are loved and special. Some of us are more kinaesthetic than others but all of us have a need for touch from when we are born and the sensations are imbedded in our nervous systems and stay with us into adulthood. The associations of self-worth we received from our parents as small babies remain imprinted at a cellular level while growing up and connect us to our ability to love and appreciate ourselves.
Hugging relaxes muscles and releases tension in the body. Hugs release endorphins which are the body’s natural pain relievers, so hugs can soothe aches and pains by increasing circulation into the soft tissues and helping you to relax.
Hugs help to balance the nervous system and help to lower blood pressure. Imagine, just by giving someone a hug, you have already begun to help balance their nervous system.
Hugs reduce the level of cortisol in the body, that’s the hormone related to stress and how your body responds to danger. It also helps to regulate your metabolism of glucose but too much of it can cause weight gain around the belly and on the face and can also cause skin problems such as thin skin that’s slow to heal, facial hair and irregular menstrual periods.
Hugs are so such like meditation and laughter. They teach us to let go and be present in the moment. They encourage us to flow with the energy of life and get out get us out of our heads and into our heart connecting with our breath and those around us.
A 10-second hug a day can lead to biochemical and physiological reactions in your body that can significantly benefit your health and the people you hug.