A Friday Fitness blog about HUGS??? Heck Ya!
Beyond how great they feel, there are very REAL physiological changes that our bodies experience when we give, or receive, a hug. The health benefits of this seemingly small gesture are profound...not to mention that I am a HUGE FAN!
Here are some of the benefits of a hug (from mindbodygreen.com):
- 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.
- Hugging builds stronger bonds with the people you see everyday-Hugging nurtures human relationships, cultivates trust, increases confidence, and frankly, makes us happier people.
- Hugging lowers stress-A good hug literally decreases the levels of cortisol found in the body. Talk about a drug-free anti-anxiety treatment.
- Hugging lowers blood pressure.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hugging reconnects the mind with the body-A good hug has the power to prompt us towards better posture, deeper breathing, and a more relaxed state of being.
- Hugging more makes us better huggers-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.
- 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.
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.
Now, time get busy!