I posted a silly status on my personal Facebook recently talking about ‘Hug Tension’. I had experienced it with somebody at that time. I recently started a new casual hours job with a small company and at the end of my shifts I always feel like I should hug my boss, but think ‘no, she’s my new boss’ so I don’t, and I say goodbye and feel a bit weird about life for 5 minutes.
The other day I decided to go for it and give her a hug and she hugged back! I said something like ‘I’m a hugger, and have decided to hug you’ and she said that she was a hugger too… and that’s when I realised that there had been hug tension between us for the shifts leading up to that! So my little message on Facebook was basically ‘if you are a hugger and notice a tension with somebody when you say goodbye, it probably means they want to hug you back, so just hug them!’ and it provoked quite a few comments!
One friend told me that his work now has a policy that they must hug somebody when they spot that they are stressed – how brave a policy is that! But I totally support it too! It reminded me of a Greys Anatomy episode that I had watched. There was a surgeon there for a while who had Asperger’s and got quite distressed at something at one point and asked the two other doctors to hug her. They were confused because this surgeon wasn’t great at social interaction and definitely not with physical touch. The surgeon then explained that hugging relieves tension by ‘blah blah blah something biological attached to bits to do with your body’ So I thought I would do a quick Google and find out properly!
I found out that hugging increases the level of oxytocin….a hormone you are maybe familiar with? This is the same hormone that increases when you are masturbating! The love hormone!
I also learned that it reduces blood pressure and heart rate, so is able to reduce your stress level. How amazing. Here is the whole article – http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/06/hugging.aspx
Here is a list of other things that hugging does:
It reduces the worry of immortality It stimulates dopamine, which is that ‘feel good’ feeling It stimulates Serotonin (when serotonin is absent, this is when you can feel lonely or depressed) Well-hugged babies are less stressed as adults Hugging balances out the nervous system It also enhances the immune system.
See http://www.sott.net/article/291786-The-physiological-benefits-of-hugging for the whole story.
The effects of hugging has quite a few similarities to the effects of masturbating, so I would like to ask you to invite more hugs into your life generally, and if you are just too busy to get a sneaky fiddle in, a few hugs could work instead!