The Power of a Hug
The Power of a Hug: The Perfect Expression of Love, Affection and Acceptance.
It’s Saturday morning, the sun begins to rise as I sit in the quiet of my home with my little family still tucked in their beds. The past six weeks or so have been incredibly draining on my emotions as I have watched my daughter struggle with an undiagnosed illness. Multiple trips to the ER, doctor’s appointments and sleepless nights of worry have caught up with me as I struggle with the fact that I can’t fix this. Thankful that all of the “bad stuff” has been ruled out we focus on what could be a food allergy; it’s all so difficult. Allowing my mind to drift back to life when a simple hug would make her feel better I realize that those times have prepared me for this particular struggle and those to come. A friend shared that worry is a wasted emotion so I cling to hope that an answer is found and that my girl can get back to normalcy; or as normal as life can be for a pre-med student.
Recently while sitting in a meeting my girl sent a text “I’m coming home; I need you to hold me”. My heart ached for her knowing that not only does she feel bad physically but that the whole ordeal is weighing on her emotionally. Being sick sucks; being sick not knowing why sucks even more. I found my girl on the sofa wrapped tightly in a warm blanket looking like the little girl I knew from long ago; she needed her momma. In a matter of seconds, she was wrapped in my arms, head on my chest nearly asleep with no intention of moving for a long time. “Mom”, she said “hugging you makes me feel better”. What she didn’t realize is that the hug we shared made me feel better too. Quite often we offer up a hug of comfort to someone only to realize that we needed it just as much as they did.
According to author Roy Spence, hugging is one of the most essential elements of a healthy, happy life. In a Huff Post Live interview, Spence shared his thoughts on the importance and power of a hug. Growing up in a big family of huggers, he says he thought everybody hugged; it is a common practice in his world. Creating love cultures, he says is vital not only to our personal lives but in business. Love cultures, means you love what you do; love the people you are around, and you love the impact you make on people’s lives. Hugs are simply perfect; a perfect expression of love, affection, and acceptance; an exchange of care, support, energy, and human kindness. The message delivered by a hug is universal; there are no social, economic barriers in a hug; it is something understood by everyone no matter what language, culture, or continent you live on.
One of the most powerful hug moments I’ve had was with an inmate several years ago. My family and I were adopting a dog from the prison’s rescue program which meant we would meet the trainer. When Tracy walked in I was filled with emotion as she struggled to put her words together. Unleashing the dog she stood in front of me broken with tear filled eyes. Stepping forward I wrapped my arms around her hugging her without reservation or condition. That hug, created a temporary safe place for us to be real, vulnerable and personal. She shared with me that she had not been hugged like that in many years; it was perfect. For me our hug was an example of true kindness, grace and love; a necessary life lesson.
Research has shown that when people hug the brain releases the chemical oxytocin. This encourages social bonding, increases our willingness to trust and decreases fear. It has also shown that hugs are great for your heart. A study was conducted that measured the heart rates and blood pressure of two groups of people, a group of huggers and a group of non-huggers. Those who went without hugs were found to have a higher blood pressure and resting heart rate in comparison to the group of huggers, who had noticeably healthier results. Once in an embrace, the hug creates a circle which at that moment has no beginning or end. It is infinite in its message of love.
Physical human contact is on the decline while short, chopped typed messages replace the human connection. I encourage you to take a moment from the busy-ness of your life and share a moment of love and hug someone; not just a quick sideways hug but one that causes you to stand still, breathe deep and embrace someone to the depths of your soul. Statistics indicate that every human being needs 4 hugs a day merely to survive, 8 a day to maintain oneself at a strong emotional level and 12 a day to grow and become a better person. . There’s something incredibly powerful about opening your arms and exchanging a hug with someone. It’s been said that a hug is a handshake between two hearts. Be the reason someone gets a hug today; I’m sure you will walk away feeling better as well.
Peace (and hugs),
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!