How many of you love a good hug? I know I do. Did you know that giving and getting hugs has quite a few benefits other than the fact they simply feel nice?
Well… Let me tell you as an expert 6 second hugger… (Haha, I read somewhere that getting a 6 second hug helps you to live longer… maybe it’s true?).
There is something about getting a hug that makes you so warm and fuzzy inside. Especially the ones that are really intense and heart-felt. I know if I don’t get a hug in a while I feel a little empty, like something is missing!
I always think about how meaningful a hug can be and I remember hearing something somewhere that to get the full benefits of a hug you need to hold it for 6 seconds or longer. Now I know it seems a little ridiculous but, I find actually counting out the 6 seconds of the hug increases the benefits. Often my partner and I are so busy we kind of skip past each other and forget to take a few seconds to actually embrace each others presence. Granted, some of you probably think this counting thing takes away from the meaning of the hug but I urge you it really doesn’t.
I read a study by Lena M. Forsell Stockholm and Sweden Jan A Astrom “Meanings of Hugging: From Greeting Behavior to Touching Implications” and I found a few really interesting facts I wanted to explore with you guys.
Did you know?
- That hugging comes naturally from birth! One of the first things we do after taking in our first breath is to be embraced and nurtured in our mothers arms. This helps us feel joy, security and confidence. (I understand this doesn’t happen for everyone but for the most part it does).
- January 21st is proposed as International Hugging Day in the USA. I am sure lots of countries also have this as you are probably aware. Let me know what country you are from and when your international hugging day is!
- Dogs don’t interpret hugs like we do. WHAT! This is crazy, I love giving my dog a hug and just assume that she receives it the same as I do… But studies have shown some dogs feel strangled by hugs and a little uncomfortable. I guess dogs at birth are not embraced in the arms of their mother like we are, rather they are licked clean and left to snuggle their siblings.
- Hugging for 10 seconds or more can reduce your overall stress. (Even 6!)
- Frequent partner hugs can lead to higher oxytocin levels, lower blood pressure and lower heart rate?! (Mainly just in women, sorry guys).
There are some pretty amazing benefits from hugging but obviously hugs are not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s completely understandable.
Some families don’t really hug and that’s fine but I reckon this can be changed. If you don’t hug your Ma or Pa but you would really like to… give it a go! It might be weird at first but soon it will become routine. I know my dads family didn’t really hug each other as much as my mums side but over time dad has grown to enjoy a hug or two (mums hugging goodness rubbed off). I definitely can’t leave town without getting a hug from mum AND dad.
This post basically pointed out what we already know, hugs make us feel good. But I figure we all don’t get as many hugs as we deserve. I hope this post has served as a cheeky reminder that you deserve to be hugged and give hugs in return. If you don’t get anything out of this post other than that, my job is done.
Please, GET out there, GIVE more and GET more hugs!!
Until next time,