The last quarter of the year is full of festivals – Navratri, Diwali, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year. Something common during all festivals and celebrations is greeting loved ones, family, and friends. The best gift that you can give your loved ones is a heartfelt tight hug.
Remember the movie Munnabhai MBBS and the jaadu ki jhappi (magical hug). The movie showcased the power of hugs where the protagonist transforms those around him with the magical hug. While this was just a movie, the power of hugs cannot be ignored.
Hugs are very powerful leaving behind a magical and positive feeling. Here’s why, as some of the benefits that can be achieved just by a good, heartfelt hug.
A hug makes us feel loved and connected
When we hug someone, our body releases the oxytocin hormone also known as the love hormone. “Oxytocin is a neuropeptide, which basically promotes feelings of devotion, trust, and bonding,” Hertenstein says. This is the hormone that makes feel all warm, fuzzy and happy. And you can totally feel these emotions during and after a good hug.
Watch this story of ICU grandpa taking care of premature babies using the power of touch and hugs
Receiving a hug from a loved one makes us feel wanted. It gives us a sense of belonging thus boosting our self-esteem. We feel better about ourselves and thus are able to love ourselves too.
Hugs, for this reason, are most important when around kids – When you hug them it makes them feel secure, loved and thus more confident
Helps reduce blood pressure
When someone hugs you, there is a pressure at the point of contact. Just under the skin are pressure receptors called “Pacinian corpuscles”. They receive pressure stimulation and the pressure receptors send a signal to the brain. The Pacinian corpuscles’ signals go directly to an important nerve bundle deep in the brain called the Vagus nerve. And it’s the Vagus nerve that then slows the heart down and decreases blood pressure, says Tiffany Field, one of the world’s leading touch researcher.
A hug is a natural anti-depressant
Hugging helps release our body’s own anti-depressant – serotonin. Serotonin is considered a natural mood stabilizer. It is the chemical that helps with reducing depression and regulating anxiety along with helping with sleeping, eating, and digesting. Hand-holding or hugging also results in a decrease of the stress hormone cortisol thus helping in reducing stress.
Strengthens the immune system
Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free – Marcus Julian of Mindbodygreen
Relaxes the muscles
Hugging also relaxes muscles. Hugs release tension in the body and thus can take away the pain. They soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.
We need four hugs a day for survival, eight hugs a day for maintenance and twelve hugs a day for growth
So now you know why all the meeting and greeting during the festivities makes you feel so full of energy, positive and happy. Make hugging, cuddling, holding hands a practice with your family, children and loved ones and watch the positivity flow in.
I am writing this post as a part of the #phatakablogtrain. Thanks Ruchie for the awesome introduction and directing the train from the Wigglingpen station to Momsmethods.
Next on the train is the versatile blogger Yogita’s station – Vigorous, Radiant and Glowing. A Punekar by heart, Yogita Rane is now settled on the coast of Konkan after marriage. She assists her husband and blogs for the love of natural products. Her interest in blogging developed after shifting to a new city when she took interest in her hobby of understanding the depth of new ingredients used in products