Hugging's public secrets

Updated: Apr 15, 2019

reasons why to hug more

They say a picture is worth a thousand words if so I believe a hug is worth a million.

There is this not confirmed statistics saying that a person needs 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 hugs a day for maintenance and need 12 hugs a day for growth. Which shows how important a hug is. It is far more than just a form of greeting, it’s enchanted.

From the early beginning of creation, it had always been important for humans to reach out to each other, either verbally or physically, regardless of its means, it was a necessity. and no matter how effective talking can be, it was never enough. There was always a need for a direct mean of energy transfer. Using my beloved Julius Robert Mayer’s law of thermodynamics “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only change forms” I would like to demonstrate the mystical power of a hug.

Mayer stated in his theory that energy, any form of energy can never be destroyed. The same rule applies to love, support, caring, warmth which all are forms of energy that many times need to be transferred from one person to another.

“Man discovered handshakes, fist-bumps, shoulder tapping, even sex, and high-fives. Yet nothing came close to the power of a hug”

And there is a reason for that, in sex may be the bodies mix, but when it comes to hugging, it's a fusion between two souls into one for few seconds, defusing any sort of stress. A hug is a process of embracing the person in front of you, whether a friend, family, child or a loved one.

It’s a known fact that introverts, myself included; like their own personal space not to be violated. But even those would allow hugs and exclude it from the “invading of personal space” rule because of the comfort and coziness it brings them, but they do so only with their specifically selected people. Carefully selecting who they want to receive that energy from, their “elite selection” while they may be distant from most people.

"A hug, pat on the back, and even a friendly handshake are processed by the reward center in the central nervous system, which is why they can have a powerful impact on the human psyche, making us feel happiness and joy… And it doesn't matter if you're the toucher or touched. The more you connect with others -- on even the smallest physical level -- the happier you'll be.” - Shekar Raman, MD (Neurologist)

Now with the million dollar question, what makes hugging that special that sometimes it can be a therapy for many people. Well, a hug releases oxytocin in the body, which is that warm, fuzzy hormone that promotes feelings of love, social bonding, and well-being, but those are only big words for nerds right?

Following are some facts about hugging.

1 A 20-second hug is able to reduce the harmful physical effects of stress, including its impact on your blood pressure and heart rate.

2 A full-body hug stimulates your nervous system while decreasing feelings of loneliness, combating fear, increasing self-esteem, defusing tension, and showing appreciation.

3 In a study on fears and self-esteem, research published in the journal Psychological Science revealed that hugs and touch significantly reduce the worry of mortality. The studies found that hugging -even if it was just an inanimate object like a teddy bear – helps soothe individuals’ existential fears.

4 The giver of a hug receives just as much benefit as the receiver, but some research suggests the healthiest hugs must come from someone you trust (as opposed to a stranger.)

5 David Klow, a marriage and family therapist is sure about the impact a hug has between couples who have communication issues: “Most people want to feel understood, and communication is the vehicle by which they transmit understanding and empathy. Non-verbal communication can be a very powerful way to say to your partner, ‘I get you,’. Cuddling is a way of saying, ‘I know how you feel.’ It allows us to feel known by our partner in ways that words can’t convey.”

6 Hugging can be good for our hearts. Embracing someone may warm your heart, but according to one study a hug can be good medicine for it too: In an experiment at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, participants who didn’t have any contact with their partners developed a quickened heart rate of 10 beats per minute compared to the five beats per minute among those who got to hug their partners during the experiment.

7 Well-hugged babies are less stressed as adults. Want to do something for future generations? Hug them when they’re still little. An Emory University study in rats found a link between touch and relieving stress, particularly in the early stages of life. The research concluded that the same can be said of humans, citing that babies’ development — including how they cope with stress as adults — depends on a combination of nature and nurture.

8 One study found that touch alone can reveal emotions including anger, fear, disgust, love, gratitude, and sympathy, with accuracy rates of up to 83 percent.

So there you go, the publicly known secret of hugging. Remember when hugging someone you are doing more than just greeting, you are a hub. Exporting some of your energy to others, touching a soul, crossing unseen boundaries, changing someone's life.

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