COVID-19 has made us enter an era of no physical touch. We met up with fewer people and when we did, we couldn’t stay close to one another. Not all people may be touchy but all humans have a need for social interaction to fulfill. Because we were isolated more often, they say we have become more tired and less energetic to face our day-to-day lives.
In fact, according to family therapist Virginia Satir, we all need at least 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 hugs a day for maintenance, and 12 hugs for growth. Following this information, then there’s no wonder the world has become so gloomy the past two years.
Most of us don’t get even just one hug a day. As established, there are far fewer opportunities to connect with others and people have become less vulnerable and willing to open themselves for a hug. Those in loving, romantic relationships may get their daily dose of hugs but what about those who are single? Isn’t it weird to go to our friends and casually request for a hug when there is no special occasion or anything to congratulate them for?
There are still multiple reasons that remain in the book on why people don’t hug as often. While we can keep on running over them, there are also many reasons to convince us to give out hugs and ask for them in return. We listed them down below.
1. Hugs can instantly make you feel safe and secure.
If you want to comfort someone and make him or her feel your presence, then hugging them tightly is the way to go. You want to let them know that you are just by their side and that you will never leave them in this rollercoaster adventure called life. A hug from a person who really matters to you has the power to take you to a place of safety and security. In that space, nothing can go wrong and if something does, in a hug, you feel that you are not alone and you always have each other to hold onto.
2. Hugs can reduce cortisol levels.
You don’t want your cortisol levels to be driving up because it increases sugar in your bloodstream that will make your body inefficient in a fight or flight situation. Basically, cortisol is the body’s primary stress hormone and when there is a lot of it in your system, your heart rate and blood pressure will go up and put you in a state of stress. A hug has the power to lower the cortisol levels and make you feel less stressed in an instant. So if for instance you need an instant pick-me-up after a stressful workday or you’re stressed with problems at home, then go ask someone for a hug and let it do its magic.
Getting hugged regularly will also promote overall good heart health through maintaining your blood pressure and heart rate on normal levels.
3. Hugs have the power to release oxytocin.
You’ve probably heard it too many times but don’t really know what it is. Oxytocin is our body’s “love hormone.” Your oxytocin levels will go up when you hug someone you love or engage in sexual activity. When oxytocin is released, a person feels a wave of warmth that is said to be helpful to curb stress and anxiety. You should keep your oxytocin at a healthy level to regulate your emotional responses. In this way, you are able to communicate positively and send out comforting bonding cues to the people you love.
4. Other than oxytocin, hugs also boost the release of other feel-good hormones such as dopamine and serotonin.
If you still aren’t convinced that you need hugs every day, then you should know that getting one also releases dopamine and serotonin.Medicinenet.com says dopamine is a pleasure hormone that makes a person feel good and serotonin acts as an antidepressant that uplifts mood, controls anxiety and reduces feelings of loneliness.
5. Hugs can eradicate fear.
If you are having irrational fears, simply hugging a teddy bear or pillow can reduce your fears of things such as mortality. Even if you are just given a gentle touch, studies show that you will become less anxious about death.
6. Hugs can reduce pain levels.
To improve quality of life and reduce pain, go for therapeutic touch treatments. They have been proven to be effective in increasing circulation into the soft tissues that will make body pain and aches go away.
7. Hugs can boost your self-esteem.
You can become more happy with yourself by simply getting a hug from a loved one. You gain confidence and feel loved by others. Because you feel loved by others, you learn to love yourself a bit more.
8. A hug is a form of language that can help you communicate with others.
If you are not so big on words, then a hug can be your way to express yourself non-verbally. A study published by the American Psychological Association says that touch can indicate a range of emotions even including anger, fear, disgust up to positive feelings such as love, gratitude, and sympathy.
A Guarantee to a Happier Work Life
Because most of us are based at home or work remotely, it has become relatively easier to cuddle with our loved ones, reaching out for a kiss or a hug. Learn to set aside conflict and be the bigger person when you are not on good terms. After an honest and open conversation, leave the past behind and give each other a hug. It may do wonders for your life in general that will include having healthier relationships with your friends, family, and a special someone.
You could feel less stressed at work or be more available to a loved one at home if your workstation is free from clutter. Install storage solutions that will organize your desk essentials and precious belongings. You could also work on a standing desk with a standing desk converter to be more efficient and awake at work. Get yourself a desk bike to help incorporate activity in your life.
So when a loved one of yours takes a work break and approaches you for a hug, you are available and ready with the biggest smile on your face!
Even though some of us are introverted, we still are social beings that have a need for social interaction. We should continuously find ways to meet that need such as giving and receiving hugs. 12 hugs a day isn’t a chore at all, especially if it helps all of us spread love and have a better quality of life.