Posted by: Admin | December 31, 2011

HUG

I have been blessed this happy holiday season by a host of hugs. Could that be why I am ending the year feeling warm and fuzzy inside (or is that just the champagne?).

Research has shown that regular physical contact such as a hug is good for the health. Apparently, hugs slow the pulse and release the “feel-good” hormone oxytocin into the bloodstream whilst at the same time tempering cortisol production. That’s the stress hormone that, when left to run riot through the body, eventually affects blood pressure and the heart. Physical touch also releases dopamine into the blood stream, which creates a natural high. (Quoted on the Live-Large Blog)

Anecdotally, I remember the effect my daughter’s touch had on me once when I was in pain after a surgical procedure. All she did was rhythmically stroke my hands, yet I was aware of a feeling of delicious calm creeping through me. Far more powerful than any drugs.

The power of stroking has long been recognised in the medical profession. Science Daily noted in November 2009 that: “A growing body of research now documents the value of the human-animal bond in child development, elderly care, mental illness, physical impairment, dementia, abuse and trauma recovery, and the rehabilitation of incarcerated youth and adults.” The willingness of a pet to receive and give physical affection fulfils the need for connection for many. Personally, I need a regular human hug.

As a child I fretted about elderly relatives who were widowed or otherwise left to live alone. Firstly, once a spouse and siblings had died, I noticed that they were never called by their first name by anyone – in those days one was either Mum, Dad or Auntie etc, or a Mr, Miss or Mrs to all but close relatives and friends. That in itself struck me as sad. Then I realised that, if I didn’t submit to whiskery kisses, my elderly relatives also were never hugged. How horrible!

So I am hereby designating 2012 as the year of the hug. Ok, so we have the Olympics too. And the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. But hey, that’s all the more reason we have for grabbing a stranger for some serious hugging!

Below is a short, rather uplifting video about a man who took to the streets in search of hugs. Juan Mann arrived home in Sydney at a time of personal crisis and found himself acutely aware that there was no one there to greet him, no one to welcome him home or show any pleasure at his arrival. His reaction – to scrawl a sign offering “FREE HUGS” on a sheet of cardboard and take to the streets marked the beginning the Free Hugs Campaign – attracting a ban, an appearance on Oprah, an international movement and an abundance of hugging. Click on the link above to read more. Meanwhile, sit back and enjoy the video.

Oh yes – and here’s a great big, squidgy cyber-hug from me – HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

The Big Epic

Enjoying Life One Adventure at a Time

my world from the other side

travelling - changing - questioning - being me

Hollington Wood

Ancient Woodland. Sustainable Produce. Educational Amenity.

Three Wishes Books

A blog about books and publishing

Dyslexia Parents Guide

A parents journey into dyslexia

The Dream Shed: by Luke Thomas French

Stories for Children and Adults who Never Grew Up!

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

thephotographyboutique

Just another WordPress.com site

redefineyourmind

Know Thyself To BE True

forcing myself happy

One day at a time...for 6 months! :/

Journey2Wonderful

Living Life with heART!

Bob Rhodes Photography

the journey continues

kma postcards

the kmatourism blog

Steve McCurry's Blog

Steve's body of work spans conflicts, vanishing cultures, ancient traditions and contemporary culture alike - yet always retains the human element. www.stevemccurry.com

%d bloggers like this: