I have always been a massive fan of hugs and found them to be an integral part of my daily life throughout my life. I grew up with a very loving family where hugs where very much a part of everyday life which is probably why hugs are so important to me.

Throughout lockdown people have been advised to have very little physical contact with people which I imagine is incredibly hard particularly for those of us who value hugs so much. I cannot imagine ever seeing my Mum or my daughters and not being able to give them a hug, it would break my heart.

I have been very careful throughout lockdown and have only had hugs from those in my support bubble, but as I have mentioned before in a previous blog when it was the first lockdown and restrictions were very tight, I went weeks without seeing my best friend. Then one day she popped to drop some things off and we knew we shouldn’t hug, but we were both going through incredibly tough times (on top of lockdown) and so we both crumbled and had a much-needed hug/squeeze!

Taking care of our mental health is as important as taking care of our physical health and part of doing so for me is having physical contact. It feels alien to me to see someone you love or care about who is upset and not giving them a hug, to me it feels almost inhumane! I know my counselling course tutor believes that you can hug someone with your words, but I personally do not feel that a true hug can be replaced by anything.

There are lots of benefits of hugs!

Did you know that a 10-second hug helps the body fight infections, eases depression, and reduces tiredness and a 20-second hug reduces the harmful effects of stress, relieves blood pressure, and promotes a healthy heart. Hugs also relax muscles by releasing tension in the body, take aches and pains away by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.

I am definitely the kind of person that likes to give and receive proper deep hugs and scientists have discovered that these hugs build trust and a sense of safety, they instantly boost oxytocin levels (this hormone can help relax and lower anxiety, which in turn can effectively lower blood pressure), strengthen the immune system and boosts self-esteem.

All the hugs we receive make us more self-confident and happier and connect us to our ability to self-love.

A hug makes us more mindful and aware of the current situation. Being present in the moment brings us happiness. So, if you are not a fan of meditation (or even if you are), hugging is a good alternative!

Do not be afraid to ask for a hug from friends or family…. with all the physical and emotional benefits of hugs I am surprised they aren’t being prescribed by the NHS!!

I would love to have a job giving out hugs…maybe I could create hug therapy??

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s