No matter how strong you are or feel you ought to be, there comes a time when you too feel vulnerable and weak and just need someone to come over and give you a bear hug. You know, that tight hug, were the other wraps their arms around you, almost immobilizing you. That powerful embrace that makes you feel you’re not alone because you can feel the other person’s heart beating on your chest. It’s that cuddle we all need to feel warm inside. The one where you seem to be holding the other person in your grasp, but you are really touching their soul.
We all need a hug once in a while. For more reasons than the simple pleasure of feeling closer to someone dear to us.
When we hug someone, that nurturing touch enhances our sense of trust and safety. But it also allows oxytocin to be released into our bodies by our pituitary gland, lowering both our heart rates and our cortisol levels, helping us soothe feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.
Holding a hug for an extended time also increases our serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.
Hugging boosts self-esteem because it is associated with the feeling that we are loved and special.
Hugging relaxes muscles and releases tension in the body. Hugs can take away pain, as they soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.
Perhaps most importantly, however, “hugs are so much 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. Hugs get you out of your circular thinking patterns and connect you with your heart and your feelings and your breath”.
So no matter your age, your state or occupation, give hugs freely and receive them just as openly. They are vital for our survival and will certainly make your day.