Saturday, November 29, 2014

Who doesn't like hugs?

Hugs must be good if animals like them, right?

This may not come as a surprise...I've met quite a few people that don't care for another person to put arms around them and squeeze.  My husband is one of them.  Don't get me wrong he is a great guy (well, most of the time! lol).  We've been married almost 41 years.  And, to this day, he's not all that crazy about hugging. 

Now, me, on the other hand...I love hugs.  I won't hug new acquaintances unless I ask first.  But, friends...well, they know I gotzta have a hug when we part.

There is a saying by Virginia Satir, a respected family therapist,

“We need four hugs a day for survival.
We need eight hugs a day for maintenance.
We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”
Below are just a few great reasons to share hugs:
1. Hugs can instantly boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.

2. Holding a hug for an extended time lifts one's serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.

3. Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body's production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.

4. Hugging boosts self-esteem. From the time we're born our family's touch shows us that we're loved and special. The associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from our early years are still imbedded in our nervous system as adults. The cuddles we received from our Mom and Dad while growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level, and hugs remind us at a somatic level of that. Hugs, therefore, connect us to our ability to self love.

5. Hugging relaxes muscles. Hugs release tension in the body. Hugs can take away pain; they soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.

6. Hugs balance out the nervous system. The galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug shows a change in skin conductance. The effect in moisture and electricity in the skin suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system - parasympathetic.

Okay...maybe, 12 hugs in one day is a lot.  It's "a lot", but, I won't admit that it's too many.  I will agree that one hug is better than none.  Sometimes it takes practice.  For those that don't like hugs, it can take time to build up to several hugs in a day.   My husband grew up not receiving hugs...not from family or even parents.  He looks back on his childhood and he's never doubted his parents love for him because he knew they sacrificed much to make life comfortable for him and his siblings.  This is an example that we don't have to give daily hugs to "prove" we love someone.  There are many actions that show we love someone.  Still...I do love hugs! And, they are definitely a great way to show others we care.  =D
I've started asking my husband (each day) if he will give me a "healthy hug".  He seems more than willing to give a hug to keep *me* healthy.  LOL.  What he doesn't realize is the possibility that it could be healthy for him too.  =).  Some days we even get in 3 hugs.  Wow! Are we on our way to getting healthier...OR WHAT?!  =P

Now that the Holiday season is upon us, those of us who are regular huggers...might take some time out from the busy hustle and bustle to be aware of those who just might be needing a hug or two right now.  =)




Una said...

I'm with your husband on this when it comes to hugging and even kissing mere acquaintances. It is very common here now and I try to avoid it but don't want to look rude either. My husband even laughed when I shook someone's hand. It was my first meeting with them and I thought that was perfectly adequate.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I like to hug, too.

Christine M said...

Sending you hugs from Down Under, Annie!

Sarah Craig said...

I'm from the South - honey, we hug EVERYBODY here!!! It's why we're all so fat and sassy!! {{{{HUGS!!!!}}}}

Granny Annie said...

So not a hugger! I grew up a preacher's daughter and somehow that gave every church member free reign to manhandle me at will. I can remember being scooped up by complete strangers and nobody objected on my behalf.

Anonymous said...

I'm one of those who isn't a big hugger naturally. I'd rather hold hands day and night. =)

Mary Marcotte said...

I agree with Sarah about Southerners hugging everybody. I've been one all my life and find that, even as a teacher, it's hard to avoid a hug. My students love to hug....of course, I'm careful to avoid the possibilities of impropriety. I'll hug only in front of other students and limit them. Some kids want a hug everyday, but that can't happen. I really enjoyed the whole post, even though the biological terms are way over my English brain {lol} and I'm too lazy to look them up.