Let hugs light up your lifeI love a hug!  Don’t you?  It makes me smile and warm inside and I feel loved.  I have a friend, Gilly, and she gives the best hugs; she envelopes me in her arms.  But what I never realised is how important hugs are for us human beings.  I spoke the other day about how important intimacy and physical contact is to us mere mortals.

But there is science behind this most normal of human actions.  Did you know that hugging therapy is a powerful way of healing?  Research shows that hugging (and also laugher) is extremely effective at healing sickness, disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress.
According to Virginia Satir, a respected family therapist, we need;
  • four hugs a day for survival.
  • eight hugs a day for maintenance.
  • twelve hugs a day for growth.
That sounds a lot, doesn’t it?  Is it easily achievable?
Well, I think, on reflection, there are ways you can give yourself a hug if you’re not surrounded by natural ‘huggers’.  These hugs can be real.  Have you tried hugging yourself?  It’s fun to do and makes you smile, but I believe you can give yourself a hug virtually too or at least create the feeling that a hug gives you.
Smiling at yourself in the mirror every morning is a good way to start the day and effectively gives yourself a hug.  Treating yourself to some flowers every week, lighting a candle in your home, putting on a comfy pair of slippers, slipping into a warm bed with clean crisp sheets, having your hair done, stringing a set of fairy lights around a mirror, swinging on a child’s swing, feeling sand between your toes, cuddling up to a fluffy cushion – the list is endless.  Think about what makes you happy and smile, and make sure you do something that increases your oxytocin levels which heals feelings of loneliness, isolation and anger.
For me, hugging has become so very important in my life that I ensure to always hug my friends very tightly.  I show them that I love them, and the way I can show that the best is by hugging them.  I am lucky enough to have a lot of friends and we’re all ‘huggers’.  Maybe for you, hugging doesn’t come easily, and maybe you have friends who don’t find it easy either, but after reading this blog, perhaps it’s something you can start thinking of doing more.  From a very young age, our family’s touch shows us that we are loved and special.  This leads to feelings of self-worth which is embedded in our nervous system as adults.  The cuddles we received remain imprinted at a cellular level.
So, you see, a hug a day truly does keep the doctor away, and if you want to be the very best version of you, then aim for that ‘ideal’ twelve hugs a day.  I dare you to set yourself this as a daily target – hug your family, friends, family, children, or even a work colleague you are fond of, no one is exempt.  Maybe have a fun family weekend where you see how many hugs you can give others and receive back over a two day period?  If nothing else you will laugh (a lot!), and we all know how laughing is good for us.
Show your love, give a hug!
With love,
Tracey B x
* Content courtesy of www.mindbodygreen.com – thoughts and reflections entirely mine.