Did you know that being hugged (and giving a hug) is proven to be good for you? Stress weakens our immune system, and as our body tries to manage stress, it can become physically sick. In a 2015 study at Carnegie Mellon University, they found that participants that received more hugs were less likely to get sick. Hugs provide support and being frequently hugged leads to less stress and keeps our immune systems healthy. Since skin is also the largest organ, as mentioned in our previous #29daysofselfcare post, touch and physical contact is necessary for our well being. Anti-aging, nervous system balancing, increasing serotonin levels, fight against heart disease, a tool for communication, pain relieving, depression curing, fear, and anxiety reducing, relationship strengthing, self-esteem improving, relaxing and happiness increasing, the list can go on for how hugs benefit us.
It's not just about hugging though; it's about HOW you hug. Genuine, heartfelt hugs that embrace the other person fully (without hurting them) has been proven to be the most impactful. Think about when you felt a good hug. How did it affect you? What about when you gave a hug to someone when they needed it. How did it make them feel?
It's funny how some of the most powerful abilities we have as humans, are things that are built into our beings. It doesn't take anything but our intent and body to give and receive hugs. So practice this. Next time you give a hug to someone, consider all the ways you can help that person by providing a true genuine hug. Then, HUG IT OUT.
Thanks for reading amigos, stay tuned for DAY TWENTY-SEVEN of our 29 Days of Self-Care Series!