In line with my blogs being aligned with a timeline associated with the Coronavirus pandemic I am asking to receive a message of support and good health for everyone in our current chaotic times….

Today’s health message is about the power of hugs, something, that unfortunately has been discouraged in our current covid avoidance lives. However, this just means that you have to hug the people you can, the people in your household.

Emotional benefits of a warm embrace

Studies have shown that hugs cause the brain to release endorphins. This leads to better healing throughout the entire body. In addition to that, an embrace is a form of therapy that generates feelings of well-being. Additionally, a good hug can reduce blood pressure or even potentially ease menstrual pain in women (and who doesn’t want that when in enforced isolation!)

A hug can also ease a headache and reduce anxiety, stress or depression. The list of benefits are endless. It may build self-esteem, calm the nerves, remind you that you’re not alone, cure insomnia, etc. A hug can also help you overcome fear, stimulate the senses, bring you joy, and calm the soul.

Some people even claim that it slows the aging process and helps control appetite (much better than grabbing that extra chocolate bar).

Hugging another person also has positive physiological benefits for the body. The secretion of oxytocin, a hormone, is one of them. Oxytocin is known as the attachment or bonding hormone, and it’s not just for children – it improves the quality of life in people regardless of what their age is.

There are so many benefits of hugs that “hug therapy” is actually used to treat depression and other psychological disorders.

Hugs also release other hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which have a sedative effect on the body. All of these effects together produce sensations of tranquility, wellness, and calm. But most interesting is that this effect is not only produced during the embrace, but can persist long after physical contact.

One curious note is that scientific studies have shown that embraces and caresses have a greater effect on women than men. Still, both groups do benefit.

Drawing on the book by Kathleen Keating, “Hug Therapy,” we can tell you that hugs don’t just make you feel good. They’re also essential to the mental and intellectual development of children, helping them overcome fears. Her book supports the anti-aging properties as well.

In the book she writes:

“Physical contact is not only pleasant, but necessary for our psychological, emotional, and physical well-being, increasing the joy and health of the individual in society. The hug is a very special way of touching, making you accept yourself better and feel more accepted by others.”

– Kathleen Keating

Recap: why give and receive hugs?

  • Protection: As human beings, we’re fragile, and we want to always feel protected. Nothing provides this better than a hug.
  • Confidence: When you’re confident, you aren’t afraid to face the challenges that may arise during the day. After a good hug, nothing can stop you!
  • Security: A feeling of security is essential to your daily life. You could even say it’s the fuel that helps generate the confidence needed to accomplish your goals.
  • Strength: If you have strength within, you’ll share that energy with everyone you hug!