We need about seven hugs a day to be healthy. Most of us don’t get that in a month. Go visit an old folk’s home and start hugging the residents. It will not only help you, but it might even increase and improve the lives of those you hug!
By: Darlene Hull
“Hugging is healthy: It helps the body’s immune system, it keeps you healthier, it cures depression, it reduces stress, it induces sleep, it’s invigorating, it’s rejuvenating, it has no unpleasant side effects, and hugging is nothing less than a miracle drug.”
– Unknown –
Sometimes life gets so hectic that our nerves are frazzled, our tempers are short, and we feel totally disconnected from those that are important to us.
Want to know a simple way to fix that? Reach out and hug someone.
According to some research, we need about seven hugs a day to be healthy. Most of us don’t get that in a month. Mark Katz, M.D., Member of L.A. Shanti’s Advisory Board says:
“How important are hugging and physical and emotional contact for people affected by life-threatening illnesses? In my work, I have found that people who receive nurturing maintain a better outlook on their situation — and historically, positive attitude is an important factor in long-term survival. Hugging and physical contact make a difference in a person’s frame of mind, and may help their medical condition. Best of all, hugging has no side effects and does not require a trip to the doctor.”
So, what happens if you’re not a hugging family? Start by simply touching your family – a pat on the back, a light touch on the arm. As you receive permission and encouragement, increase your touches to include a “side hug”. Just remember to always respect a person’s boundaries.
Here are some tips on how to hug depending on what you want to communicate by Kathleen Keating, R.A., M.N., author of The Hug Therapy Book:
The Bear Hug – -Ideal for two individuals of disproportionate sizes and for saying, “You’re terrific,” or “You can count on me”.
The A-Frame – Brief embrace ideal for little-known relatives and situations requiring a bit of formality. All of the hugging takes place above the neck. This hug communicates polite caring or detached warmth. Great for new huggers.
The Cheek Hug – A tender hug that can be executed sitting or standing. This hug says “I’m sorry you’re disappointed,” or is ideal to share joy or greet an elderly relative.
The Group Hug – Great for good friends sharing an activity or project. Group hugs communicate support, security, affection, unity and universal belonging.
If you really need a hug and don’t have the permission from your family members to hug them, go visit an old folk’s home and start hugging the residents. It will not only help you, but it might even increase and improve the lives of those you hug!
About the Author:
Darlene Hull is the creator of the free “Mom-Defrazzler tool – 52 Tips for Moms to get from Chaos to Calm in One Year” and the “Merry Moms” newsletter, a weekly humour e-zine to help moms defrazzle with laughter. You can download this tool and newsletter on her website at http://www.mom-defrazzler.com .
Photo: Simon Grossi