Hugs are the best. Plain and simple. That’s not only because they’re truly amazing, that they feel nice, and that they’re comforting, but simply because they allow us to be truly ourselves with another person. And I’m not talking about greeting hugs that last only a few seconds, but long held tight hugs, the ones that last up to a few minutes, where all that is done by the two huggers is squeezing and back rubbing.
Indeed, this marvellous experience allows us to drop all the masks one can imagine, because there’s nothing else, no words, no looks, only the feeling, so it is hard to pretend to be someone else while hugging another person. Furthermore, longer hugs release Oxytocin in one’s brain (1), which is one of the chemicals associated with social bonding and deeper connections, which is why one of the nicknames for oxytocin is the cuddle hormone, amongst others, since it also has a variety of other effects.
The benefits from hugging do not only come when being done with a person close to us, but can also be activated with a total stranger, since it does not matter who the other person is, energy will still circulate between the two hugging entities. All this to say that “one hug a day, keeps loneliness away”, at least for as long as the oxytocin high lasts. Big hug to all of you!!
Until next time,