I love Hugs! Safe, secure, warm, friendly hugs! When I was a little girl I remember asking my mum for hugs to fill up my ‘love bucket’. Somehow, I felt more confident and at peace with the world when I had a long, warm hug from someone I trusted. Dr Paul Zak says that hugging raises oxytocin, reduces cardiovascular stress and improves the immune system. Apparently, he prescribes eight a day! Jaime Thurston adds in her book, Kindness the little thing that matters most, that ‘you really can hug someone better’. Hugging is good for your health and wellbeing, it increases connection and is equally good for the giver and the receiver.
‘When you hug someone, make it count. Hug with love – and often.’ Jaime Thurston
Words often aren’t enough and can’t communicate what you can through a hug. As I reflect on what hugs have meant for me I realised that I have experienced a wide range of emotions through hugs. Hugs that show love and acceptance, hugs that bring comfort, hugs with exuberance for celebration, hugs of forgiveness and restoration…the list goes on, a hug expresses so many things but most of all it lets us know that whatever we are experiencing in life, good or bad, we are not alone, we have someone to share it with.
You probably can think quickly of people you like to receive hugs from but just for a minute consider if you know someone who might just need a hug at the moment, perhaps someone you’ve not hugged for a while, it might just be the thing that gives them courage or reassures them when life is hard. Who can you hug today and express something more than words could?