How many hugs have you had today? That may seem like a simple question but the answer may have to do with your physical and mental health. Family therapist Virginia Satir said we need four hugs a day for survival, eight for maintenance and 12 for growth.
What this all means is that we should be getting and giving many hugs a day to be healthy ourselves and to ensure those around us are healthy as well.
Hugging several times a day can benefit us in many ways.
1) We feel loved and those who feel loved are happier throughout their day. We may smile more and approach life from a more positive perspective. Hugging can release serotonin which elevates our mood helping combat depression. Depression is one of the main reasons for individuals seeking therapy.
2) Hugging releases oxytocin levels which heal feelings of loneliness and isolation. This is a common complaint from my clients. Even with social media many are reporting feeling lonely in their life.
3) Hugs can help us to relax and release tension in our bodies. Many people today are stressed and carry a lot of tension in their bodies. Additionally hugs can soothe the central nervous system which helps combat anxiety, another common complaint among clients.
So do yourself a favor and give lots of hugs today so you can feel better physically and emotionally. You will also be giving a huge gift to those in your life.