The World Needs More Hugs

1I’m just going to lay it all out there…I like hugs. Hugs are just…well…they’re nice! I like hugging my husband, my daughters, friends, people in general.  Growing up in the Southern US, hugs were a part of a typical greeting and the intensity of the hug communicated how excited you were to see that person.

After moving away from where I grew up, suddenly it felt like hugs aren’t quite expected or normal to give to everyone. I feel SUPER awkward sometimes  when I go to hug someone and they just stand there and say “hi”. When they extend their hand for a handshake makes it even weirder.

There’s some really powerful research about hugs and the impact it has on our physical, mental and emotional health and overall well-being. Research shows that people need at least 4 positive touches (a hug, hand shake, hi-five, pat on the shoulder, etc…) for survival, 8 positive touches for maintenance, and 12 positive touches for growth. How many positive touches a day do you give and/or receive?

Research shows that hugs can:

  • Make you feel good (duh!)
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Alleviate fears
  • Be good for your heart
  • Decrease loneliness
  • Relieve stress
  • Build trust in relationships
  • Have better memory recall
  • Boosts your Self-Esteem

So if hugging can do all these things, then why not have more of it in our life?

Take this guy for example…this guy obviously understands the importance of hugging and has made it his mission to spread the benefits of it to total strangers:

So here’s my challenge–if you share this sentiment with me, then go hug a person. You may just make their day. If you’re one of those that either doesn’t like to or you just don’t think about it…put yourself out there and give a hug…the person you hug may be the one who really needs it. Either way, it’s a win-win situation!

Check out these interesting reads on hugs and positive touches:

7 Reasons Why We Should be Giving More Hugs

Oxytocin: Go Out and Touch Someone

10 Reasons Why We Need at Least 8 Hugs a Day

Hands On Research: The Science of Touch

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