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Warm Fuzzies are Real: The Power of a Hug

hug“You need four hugs a day for survival, eight for daily maintenance, and twelve hugs a day for growth.”  ~ Virginia Satir

Hugging is a form of physical communication that speaks volumes without ever exchanging a single word.  It is a wonderful way to start your day and essential for physical and emotional wellness and happiness.  Research has proven that hugs can help you be healthier, think and feel younger, instill tranquility, add years to your life, and even slow down aging!

Why are hugs so healing?

Being a form of touch therapy, there are many healing benefits that are associated with a genuine embrace.  It helps people feel better about themselves, can improve children’s IQ and language skills, and can enhance the mental attitude of both the hugger and the huggee.   When someone is upset, no medicine can help reduce stress and be quite as calming as a hug.  It can help release tension or anxiety and can even help treat depression.  Becoming emotionally and physically stronger, as well as improving the ability to cope with a situation, is how a hug can positively affect a person’s well-being.

The Physical Aspect

A hug stimulates your body physically by causing hemoglobin to carry oxygen to your tissues.  As your tissues receive the fresh dose of “air,” your energy is renewed which then energizes the rest of your body.  Basically, a hug transfers and shares that positive energy between people . . . which can be tremendously uplifting, no matter what your mood.

A Hug for All Ages

Hugging can be beneficial for people of all ages.  It can help reduce senility in those 70 years of age and older.  A hug stimulates a “mature” person’s senses by increasing their inquisitiveness, pumping up their analytical abilities, perking up their “joie de vivre,” and generally amplifying their overall physical well-being.  It’s no different for the young of age, either.  Hugging a newborn or infant can make a significant improvement to their developmental growth.
Pets Count Too!

Hugging is not limited to just people, either.  Sometimes when you need that hug and reassurance and no one is around, having the unconditional love of a pet when you’re feeling emotionally or physically low can be very enriching to your mental health and outlook as well.  The simple act of a hug, even from an animal, can help cure you of the vulnerability you experience when you’re not feeling well and can be the best medicine to get you back on the road to recovery.    

Give and Receive

It’s very easy for some people to ask for a hug and instinctively know when someone needs one, but this is not the case for everyone.  Some people are just not comfortable receiving a hug, let alone giving one.  The best way to break the ice is just to hug them anyway.  Their awkwardness will soon pass . . . maybe not with that first hug, but they will eventually become comfortable with it and maybe even appreciative!

Something as simple as a sincere embrace can positively help and transform the lives of others.  Usually when you hug someone, you get a hug in return . . . and what could be better than that?

Cited Sources

"Hugs - Communication Uncomplicated By Words - Well-Being - New Age." Hugs. Web. 01 May 2012. <http://www.atlantisqueen.com/well-being/2011/10/26/hugs-communication-uncomplicated-by-words.html>.

"Hug Therapy." Emotional Intelligence. Web. 01 May 2012. <http://eqi.org/ht.htm>.

"Personal Growth - Have You Hugged Anyone Lately?" Researched Information on the Importance of Hugs as a Therapy. Web. 01 May 2012. <http://www.lifepositive.com/Mind/personal-growth/hug/hug-therapy.asp>.

"Doctors Recommend 4 Hugs A Day For Survival." African Spotlight. Web. 01 May 2012. <http://africanspotlight.com/2011/09/doctors-recommend-4-hugs-a-day-for-survival/>.

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