“When people are upset, the cultural convention is to bring them a hot beverage”. So says Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.There is an intrinsic truth in that a warm drink offers comfort. It soothes your insides like a warm hug and subconsciously makes you feel a little better. As if giving you space and the capacity to breathe somewhat deeper.
The convention, however, lies in the fact that by offering a beverage, you demonstrate you care. And in essence, that’s what we’re all looking for. Someone to be there when we’re not ourselves. We need the assurance that someone is looking out for us when we’ve given up on that. That there are people who care, because we matter.
A hot beverage is more than just a comfort drink. It is like a hug in a mug. And we all know how important hugs are.
Family therapist Virginia Satir once said: “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth”. But even then, they may not be enough. Hugging is an intimate expression of safety. You feel the other person’s heartbeat on your chest and instantly feel comforted and reassured that whatever it is you’re facing it will pass. What we’re really doing – if you come to think about it – is fighting away loneliness. Because that’s what scares us the most. Of grieving alone, of being overwhelmed by sadness alone, of not having anyone to alleviate the suffering you most probably create by overthinking.
So, offer hugs abundantly. And a hot beverage too.