10 Reasons to give More Hugs

Have you ever had the kind of busy day that perhaps leaves you feeling
a bit physically disconnected? I have, and I rarely notice this until
someone comes up and places a hand on my back to get my attention,
and my brain says, "Wow...that felt really good."

The simplest human touch when one isn't expecting it or even when
one is expecting it, can deliver such joy and contentment. A hug is a step
up, and so many of us don't meet our daily hug quota.

I've read many different numbers, suggested by many different
professionals, and have come to the conclusion that the more hugs one
receives everyday, the better.

These are some reasons to squeeze (pun intended) as many
lingering, loving hugs into your day as you're physically able:

1. Hugging induces oxytocin in the body.
Oxytocin is a powerful hormone, one that not only fortifies bonds with
our loved ones, but also has the capability to stimulate solidarity between
total strangers,

2. Hugging builds stronger bonds with the people you see everyday.
Hugging nurtures human relationships, cultivates trust, increases
confidence, and frankly, makes us happier people.

3. Hugging lowers stress!
A good hug literally decreases the levels of cortisol found in the body.
Talk about a drug-free anti-anxiety treatment.

4. Hugging lowers blood pressure.
Collecting hugs is excellent for your ticker, in more ways than one!

5. Hugging is a reciprocal good deed.
One never knows what is going on in another person's life. When a
good, sincere hug is given, it has the potential to completely alter one's
day. How simple of a good deed is that? Just wrap your arms around me,
and hug!

6. Hugging feels incredible!
Seriously, the power of human touch is profound, and our bodies are
filled with nerves ready (sometimes aching) for stimulation. Most of us
are probably craving human touch all day long and simply not aware of it.
Why do we spend so much money on massage? A good, long squeeze
has the capacity to not only lift one's spirits, but also feel wonderful for the body.

7. Hugging can turn a bad mood upside down.
If you're feeling grumpy and anti-social, just try crawling into a warm
embrace. I pretty much guarantee you'll come out of it feeling a little, if
not totally, better.

8. Hugging reconnects the mind with the body.
Most of us in the MindBodyGreen community try our best to
live consciously. But when chaos builds, which it does rapidly in the
workplace, behind the wheel, while on the computer, a good hug can
reconnect us to that idea of conscious existence. A good hug has the
power to prompt us towards better posture, deeper breathing, and a
more relaxed state of being.

9. Hugging more makes us better huggers!
That sounds silly, but I'm serious. Are you guilty of the non-committal, "I
don't have time to slow down" one-armed hug? If so, don't expect to reap
as many of these benefits. Those who take a moment to square up to
another human being and wrap their arms around them for a good
long breath are those who truly benefit from the power of hugging. Which
brings me to benefit number ten...

10. Hugging cultivates patience.
Connections are fostered when people take the time to appreciate and
acknowledge one another. A hug is one of the easiest ways to show
appreciation and acknowledgement of another person.

The world is a busy, hustle-bustle place and we're constantly rushing to
the next task. By slowing down and taking a moment to offer sincere
hugs throughout the day, we're benefiting ourselves, others, and
cultivating better patience within ourselves.

If you're not already cognizant of your own personal hug quota, start
collecting hugs today. There's no time like the present, and this
resolution will leave you happier and healthier. After all, as family
therapist Virginia Satir says,
* We need 4 hugs a day for survival.
* We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance.
* We need 12 hugs a day for growth.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock