Hugging is one of the best ways to show affection and it just plain feels good! We can all give them and we all need them! The phrase, ” Let’s hug it out” is far more powerful, than one will ever know. Did you know, that hugging increases the “love hormone” Oxytocin? This hormone calms your nervous system and boosts positive emotions including trust. A twenty-second hug, reduces stress, decreasing tension and reduces fatigue. Cortisol is the hormone that is responsible for stress, heart disease, and blood pressure. So ultimately hugging will lower these levels. In addition, hugs also stimulate the brain to release the “pleasure hormone” dopamine.
Hugging also increases levels of serotonin which is why hugs have a “calming effect”. So with that being said, hugging can reduce anxiety. Hugs are like drinking water. You need several ounces of water a day to make a difference in your body, so goes the need for at least eight hugs a day to really make a difference in your overall health needs.

I’m a “huger” by nature, so I completely love the twenty-second hug concept. My husband, Bob and I taken the test and attempted the twenty-second hug. You wonder why I said, “attempted”? Well, it truly is harder than you think. After a long and stressful day at work, I try and finagle a twenty-second hug from my husband. However, the majority of the time they last ten seconds or less. So I jokingly tell him that I am going to “carry-over any leftover seconds into the next hug! To me when we hug it feels like home, comforting and safe. I recommend them to everyone!

Good Sam Club

Go ahead, show us how you feel!

The most effective way to stimulate the oxytocin is to hug someone, no less than twenty seconds. Give it a try. Chances are the two of you won’t be able to hold that hug for twenty seconds. Been there and tried that! But it is SO worth it to give the twenty-second hug that “old college try“. Set a timer, or do it the old fashioned way. just count! The way that I have done it on multiple occasions………One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi….. you know the rest. I promise after about eleven to twelve Mississippi, you’re both laughing and ready to let go!

Keep in mind, hugging isn’t for everyone. Heck, some people don’t like them at all! I respect them for that, I don’t get it……but I will respect it. I just think to myself, they don’t know what they’re missing. It’s one of the best ways to greet someone you haven’t seen in a while, and the extra tight hug you give and receive when saying goodbye, until next time.

Hugging to me feels like home. A place of safety, comfort, and love. You must remember that hugs come in all shapes and sizes. The infamous “bear hug” is classic. Nice, cuddly, every so tight and heartwarming Then there’s the hug where you both rub each other back! This particular hug is one of my all-time favorites, which is extremely relaxing. The hug from a child, no matter their age is very soothing and refreshing at the same time. Let’s not forget the “side-hug”. In my opinion, those don’t qualify as a true hug. But to each their own and that’s okay by me. What about the “casual hug” that you can give to a co-worker or an acquaintance. In my case, working in the medical field. I give and receive a lot of casual hugs to patients. I will give them when they are afraid of their upcoming surgery and I get even them when they come back during their post-operative appointment to thank me for helping to be there for them. Those are the hugs that touch my heart and are extra special to me. How about the “Back-Hugs”. These are great too and can sometimes be unexpected when someone sneaks up on you and hugs you from behind. These hugs can sometimes symbolize that this person has your back and is a sign of protection from that individual. One must remember that the person that gives the huge benefits just as much if not more than the person receiving the hug. Hugs are one of the best forms of showing and giving comfort and affection. There are so many different kinds to be given. Maybe just the simple little hello hug when greeting someone is all you need to make your day.

The hardest hug to give is when saying goodbye to someone or something. Whether leaving for a brief period of time or leaving this earth at the end of their journey in their life. That particular hug will stay with you forever.

Above all, the best thing about hugs is that they are free!! So they should be given out often. They will warm your heart and soul.

Unconditional Love

Last, but not least. Don’t ever limit you hugs to only humans. All pets thrive on the same level of affection. Not only does it make your pet feel loved, but it will warm your heart and soul as well. Your pets love the affection and love to give the affection back. If you’ve ever had a bad day or just plain sad in any way, the greeting alone that you receive from your pet is priceless. You just need to get down to their level then hug your pet. You’ll be amazed at the release your body will receive. Not to mention, they will love it too!