Published: 05/15/2013 - Updated: 09/20/2018
The words of your loved ones can make you feel better when you're sad. When you're celebrating, a call, phone message or even some kind words can make you feel happy, however, there is nothing quite like a good hug.
A hug is more than just physical contact: It is a sign of affection and understanding. It makes you see things in a different colour; it can also strengthen your self-esteem, achieve personal growth and motivate you. Hugging is not only enjoyable, it is also necessary for our physical and mental states and increases our ability to share. We all need to give and receive, as this is an essential part of us.
The baby experiences the first hug when the mother receives him/her in her arms after birth and depends on it to survive, so the hug should be as long as possible to feel heated up by contact. Thus, the child begins to have experiences of a bodily nature, which are sensory, as well as emotional and mental, which are basic to the development of the personality. This is why, even though we are adults, we need a hug as a symbol of protection, security and confidence.
According to Kathleen Keating, author of this therapy, this act is a kind of fundamental therapeutic healing touch, as the hug imparts a vital energy that can heal or relieve minor ailments. The hug is part of many nurses' current training in various hospitals and is practiced to relieve pain, depression and anxiety.
This review is based on several studies that have shown the hug generates physiological changes in the body that allow patients to manage pain and change their attitude towards their disease or illness.
Giving and receiving hugs
There is a science behind hugging, but you can also use it to show affection to your partner, to make a friend feel better, to compliment somebody, to say hello, even to empathise or simply as part of protocol. However, no matter what the reason, try to take the opportunity to embrace someone as much as you can.
Embrace and appreciate the people who you know, who you do not know, or even people you hate, try it!
Learn to ask for hugs when you need them or when you want them and especially give them honestly, but always be cautious about another person's physical limits.
The refusal to embrace
While hugs can lift our mood and help us out of a situation or illness, not all people feel so enthusiastically about them. For some people the hug is a symbol of vulnerability and fragility.
There are people who do not practice hugging and the reasons may be different, so we cannot force anyone to hug when he or she does not feel comfortable, while there are others who enjoy both receiving and giving hugs.
Benefits of hugging
There is a saying out there that says we need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 to maintain emotional balance and 12 for our growth.
- Hugs provide security.
- You can use them to remediate physical and emotional pain, a hug can help improve a person's immune system and relieve symptoms of depression
- Slows aging and helps fight anxiety
- It communicates your feelings to another person, as he/she who gives a hug always gets one in return.
- It can help you maintain a healthy weight, it is known that many people overeat due to a lack of affection; hugs are a way to nourish our body emotionally and satisfy that inner void usually confused with hunger.
- Helps to keep the muscles of the arms and shoulders in good condition.