Reasons For Hugs

Periodically I look back on past blogs to see if there are thoughts I might update or repeat for new readers. A piece on reasons for hugs seems particularly appropriate to me in the midst of Coronavirus. You probably aren’t wandering about giving free hugs to others at this point. Still, the benefits we get through hugging are doubly important today. 

Why, you might ask, are hugs important. According to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in LA and other health organizations, the benefits of hugs are tremendous. Consequently, I would like to suggest that we can still bring about strong connections with others—we just have to do it differently. 

Ponder for a moment how mental and eye connection can transmit a sense of caring similar to that of hugs. I’ll bet if you think hard, you’ll recall joyful occasions of caring or being cared for—even without a hug.

Positive Effects of Hugs

The touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety. Think back when you felt that a person’s eyes said you were loved and safe. 

Hugs boost oxytocin levels and heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger. A  reassuring look can also remind us that everything will be OK or that the other person feels your pain.

Hugging strengthens the immune system. Minus a hug, a supportive look or encouraging word can also make us happier and strengthen our immune system.

Hugging boosts self esteem and shows someone cares. A loving, supportive look and a smile can do the same.

Hugs balance out the nervous system. The energy between people sharing a visual exchange of joy encourages empathy and understanding and a sense of peace.

I think the last comparison could be most important for retired couples, as well as for couples working from home. When we are together 24/7, we sometimes run short of empathy with one another. If a mate repetitively asks the same questions or has an annoying habit, hugging may not be on your calendar. However, “hugging” (for real or with your eyes) could lead to calm and honest discussions.  And that’s a sure way to balance your nervous system and reduce tension.

How Many Hugs A Day?

Family therapists often say, “We need to give and receive four hugs a day for survival, eight hugs a day for maintenance and twelve hugs a day for growth. Since you probably aren’t sharing hugs outside, you might enjoy doing more in your home. 

Help spread the word about the value of hugging with your eyes and emotions.  Share this blog on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media you like. You could help make the world a bit happier.

Ps: I received this information from RetireGuide – a free web resource dedicated to providing information to help older adults fulfill their retirement goals.While I do not endorse or recommend any company or organization, I thought some readers might find these two links helpful. Just another way to give a “hug”.

1. A retirement guide to types of retirement plans, who is eligible and  costs & fees, etc. 

2. Benefits and Discounts for Seniors:  LINK: