From Florida Hospital - Apopka
“When you give, you get something back in return,” says Kelly Shahnami, CREATION Health Consultant for Florida Hospital. “Hugging is one thing you can give to others, and surprisingly do something positive for yourself, too.” she continues.
Shahnami shares her top 5 reasons to hug someone - right now.
“When you hug someone, you and the receiver get a big boost of happy chemicals in your brains,” says Shahnami. It’s an immediate feeling of friendliness, interconnectedness, support, safety and comfort for the hugger and hugee.
Connect with others
“Human beings need connections with others: When premature infants are born, they need a lot of physical touch, or a condition called “failure to thrive” can happen from which they can potentially die,” explains Shahnami. “These tiny infants can stop eating and lose the will to live without physical closeness of other humans,” she adds.
While it might not be as severe, no matter your age, you need physical closeness and bonding with others to thrive. Hugging is a great way to stay interconnected to those around you.
After a horrible, no good, rotten day, what’s the best medicine? A hug! Shahnami suggests, “If you see someone struggling, stop and give them a hug.” “You’re going to immediately see a relief of stress, even if for just that moment in time,” she continues.
In fact, hugging has been shown to even lower blood pressure. Shahnami adds, “We all know the saying: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away- well, maybe a hug a day could do the same?”
“We all need support at different times in our lives. The passing of a loved one, a disappointment, a break-up, a health crisis; life can be challenging,” comments Shahnami. A hug extends your empathy to another person experiencing something difficult. Without words, a simple hug tells someone that you care about them and that you are there.
Acknowledge positive events
We’ve talked about how hugs can help during times of hardship, but what about times of happiness? Shahnami says, “Hugs are a great way to congratulate someone on an accomplishment, acknowledge their birthday, thank them for working hard, or show excitement for a life event like a marriage or a new baby.” Don’t be shy about sharing a hug with someone experiencing something amazing.
Shahnami does make an important point: “Some people are just not huggers, for cultural or other reasons.” It’s important to be courteous to those who may not be as hug-friendly. “If you go in for a hug and someone backs away, respect that and translate your good intentions into some positive words,” she recommends.
So, who are you going to hug today?
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