Touch is very necessary for the human body. It makes us feel warm, fuzzy, comforted, loved, happy, and just at peace when being held in someone’s arms. I was first exposed to what I like to call, “Powerful Hugs” through yoga. The first time I received one was in January of 2014, right before yoga practice in Venice. I’m never going to forget how confused and good it felt to receive a warm, embracing hug from a complete stranger.
Today is National HUG Day and I wanted to really bring light to the power of a proper HUG. Not only is hugging a powerful way of healing, but it is proven to help with loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress. In order for our hugs to have a powerful affect, we need to HUG with intent. I’m sure we are all familiar with those side hugs, or awkward pat on the back hugs, or even those in the air arm hugs that absolutely NO ONE likes and I’m sure we all feel offended upon receiving such a crappy hug, but we never do anything about it or actively try and change the culture of hugging.
A powerful hug starts with fully wrapping your arms around the other person and pressing each other’s hearts together. Keep the person in your arms for about 5-7 seconds and really feel the magic of the hug happening. I’m serious try it! It is an automatic mood booster that with repetition can make magic happen.
Here are a few benefits of the powerful hug,
Oxytocin is a powerful hormone! This amazing molecule strengthens bonds with our loved ones, and helps to reduce social fears. A Powerful Hug in this case, can instantly boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.
A hug is known to strengthen our immune systems. When the solar plexus chakra (located in your navel) is activated with the gentle pressure of both sternums (that bone in-between your chest) are touching, this creates a charge. A charge that increases our body's production of white blood cells, white blood cells keep us healthy and disease free. No need for the FLU SHOT, just HUG!
From the moment we’re born our family greeted us into this world with a hug, to let us know that we were loved and welcomed. Whenever feelings of insecurities, confusion, or hate surface a hug can help transform the feeling back to its root, LOVE. Hugging boosts self-esteem.
Parasympathetic Nervous System
Our parasympathetic nervous system for the most part is underactive in most of us. As humans we are wired to always be on high alert and anxious. Let’s face it with our 9-5PM schedule, friends, lovers, family our life can get crazy. It also doesn't help that we wire ourselves with caffeine at the start of the day. Nonetheless, a simple hug can help to restore the nervous system and help to slow us down and feel calmer. Which quite frankly, we can all use a chill hug in LA!
Hugs are very similar to meditation and laughter. Which in my opinion are the keys to living life with JOY! Much like meditation, hugs teach us to let go and be present and in the moment. A hug will connect us with our heart and our feelings as well as our breath; encouraging us to flow with the energy of life.
Let’s start collecting powerful hugs!