OMG – “Social Statistics for a Diverse Society” and “The Craft of Research” may be the death of me tonight, if the inability to breathe doesn’t kill me first. It is truly time to take a minute to clear the mind. I really think I could use a hug right now. A hug might just make it all better…..at least in my mind at the moment.
Interestingly enough there is a lot of research….(fits right into my required text reading) on the subject of hugging. Like 10 reasons why you should have 8 hugs a day, or 7 reasons why we should be giving more hugs, or How hugging makes you healthier and happier. I love the part in the last link “How hugging makes you healthier and happier” asks the question “Does Cuddle Therapy Work?” The verdict is resoundingly positive to the point that there are actually places where you can go possibly even on your lunch break and pay someone to hug or cuddle with you. That my friends may be just a bit much for me, paying someone for affection sounds a bit like a path that I don’t want to take, but hey people pay for massages so what’s a little cuddle to boost the oxytocin.
Personally I truly like the reason – HUGS MAKE US FEEL GOOD!!! and in addition to the fact that one of many health benefits are HUGS LOWER OUR BLOOD PRESSURE!!! When we embrace, we immediately reduce the amount of the stress hormone cortisol produced in our bodies. Hugs also make our bodies release tension and send calming messages to the brain. There is scientific proof that hugging is beneficial.
“You know that soothing, warm, loving feeling you get inside when you hug someone close? That’s Oxytocin. It’s a hormone released in the body and brain in response to affectionate touch, hugs…. In fact, oxytocin is sometimes referred to as “the bonding hormone,” “the cuddle hormone,” or even “the love hormone.” Not only does it feel really good when it’s released into our system, it’s REALLY, REALLY good for our physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being. Oxytocin (think affectionate touch and hugging):
· Promotes feelings of calm and nurturance
· Promotes feelings of trust, security, and closeness
· Counteracts stress
· Lowers blood pressure
· And helps to regulate sleep patterns (count me in)
If you haven’t already, begin to notice the difference between the kind of hug that only allows touching between our shoulders and upper torsos, and the kind of hug where our chests and bellies touch. That’s an oxytocin hug. Pull them close, soften your belly, let your breathing be slow, full, and relaxed, and imagine your presence reaching out beyond the perceived boundaries of your body to embrace them completely….by Joshua David O’Brien
That is the kind of hug I am in search of right now….a slow, long, fully relaxed good ole’ chest and belly hug.
The only thing that would make that enticing hug even better would be if it was on the beach with a warm breeze blowing, sun shining and the waves lapping at the shore over my toes. Now that’s what I’m dreaming about!!!!