THIS ! is the best way to nurture relationships, it is good for you and others, it has no cost and does not require much time, it just requires us to remember, find right moment and do it. THIS ! is called – HUG
Why hugging? Hugging helps to strengthen the immune system, reduce stress, bring positive emotions and make us younger. When we hug, hormone oxytocin is released and makes us feel warm inside. This is a chemical in our body that helps to promote bonding and trust. It lowers blood pressure and stress levels. Hugs also release dopamine, hormone responsible for pleasure. So hugs are increasing pleasure, decreasing stress and helping us feel more connected to those we love.
There is much research to prove it. Just google “the science behind hugs” and you will get it all.
How much is needed?
Human beings need minimum 4 hugs per day to survive, 8 hugs to support growth and 12 hugs will stimulate growth according to psychologist Virginia Satir. If I think about 12 hugs – it’s a lot during the day. I am not sure I am at the number yet. I asked Maks and he said he is not getting enough hugs “we need to do it much more”.
This is what works for me to find time and right hugging moments in the family.
- Hugging and cuddling time on Saturday and Sunday. On the weekend we try not to rush the mornings when we can. It means even though we wake up at 6:30 or 7, we keep ourselves in bed – all together in 1 bed for about an hour. One of us brings coffee and hot chocolate and then have our hugging, cuddling time for full family with books, kids songs or just talking. Ideal weekend for me is not getting out of bed before 8am and spending this early time on the pleasure of hugging.
- Hug them when they wake up…. Sweet and nice, sets the tone for the day. Also easy to forget as we rush to put Sasha on time on the school bus, or getting ready for work.
- Give a “have a good day” hug when you leave home. This one most forgotten in the morning rush. I am working on it, but I often miss it.
- Give a “I am back home” hug. bring everyone to the same place, calm down, turn on the touch feeling and tune down the mind. Also great as hugs reduces stress levels… just do it well and sincerely.
- Hug before going to bed. Talk about the day, give many many hugs and kisses.
My hugging challenges 🙂
It is easier to hug the little ones (1-3 y.o). They are supercute, they are responding, they love it, hugging them is natural. If you have more than 1 child, older ones are usually “under hugged”. I recall I was hugging Nikita too much and I noticed Sasha was growing more distant. It took me a while to realize I need to balance the hugs. Today I first hug her in the morning, and evening. I hug her every time we have time for two. It is more balanced now, but still Nikita as the sweet little one gets more hugs naturally.
Maks also does not feel well hugged… So many opportunities to enjoy each other and nurture the relationships just by hugging more often…
It is simple and easy. Go and hug your loved ones now
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