Virginia Satir, an American author and psychotherapist who is widely regarded as the “Mother of Family Therapy,” said this about hugs and hugging:
“We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” ~ Virginia Satir ~
My family is a family of huggers, so it is no surprise that I have always been a firm believer in hugging. There are excellent reasons for hugging, so I thought I would share them with you.
16 Reasons You NEED To Hug
There are many reasons that you need to hug whether you initiate giving the hug or receiving the hug.
- Hugging boosts the “the love hormone” oxytocin which increases feelings of trust, attachment, connection and intimacy. Oxytocin heals the feelings of anger, loneliness and isolation.
- Hugs boosts serotonin levels which elevates the mood and increases feelings of happiness.
- Hugging lowers the hormone cortisol which lowers stress and anxiety.
- Hugging reduces heart rate and blood pressure.
- Hugs help ease fatigue.
- A hug reduces pain by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.
- Hugging relaxes muscles and releases the tension being held in the muscles.
- Hugs ease depression.
- A hug stimulates the pleasure hormone dopamine which is associated with motivation.
- Hugging strengthens the immune system by reducing inflammation and assists in wound healing.
- Because of the sense of touch exchanged, hugging improves the nervous system function and provides better parasympathetic balance.
- Coupled with verbal communication, the non-verbal communication shared during hugging improves understanding in relationships.
- A hug lowers glucose levels which aids diabetics improve their health.
- Hugs are here and now. You must be present during a hug. Because you can’t do other tasks while hugging, you learn to remain in the present, slow down and be patient.
- Hugs teach you that relationships are based on giving and receiving. It is a two way street.
- Hugging increases self-esteem because you feel special, wanted, needed and loved. This in turn boosts your self-love.
So if you are the kind of person who feels hugging invades your personal space, think about what I just shared with you. Maybe you can lower your guard a bit and receive the beneficial effects of good hugs everyday.