survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day
for growth.” – Virginia Satir
I wanted to write about hugs this week because of my youngest child, often known as the hugging child. Everywhere she goes, she gives those she cares about hugs – her friends, daycare staff, school staff, dance teachers and of course family. No one has to ask. As she spies those she adores, she runs excitedly to them for a big hug. Now please know - she does not go around hugging strangers. These are all people who are involved in her life on a regular basis, mostly as care givers and teachers.
The excited and joyful embrace is her way of silently saying “Good Morning”, “Thank you” and “I care”. Each hug from this itty bitty is given with genuine love for others creating a smile on the receiver’s face and even sometimes a giggle or laugh too. Although a simple gesture, it makes a big impact on others making them feel special and who doesn’t want to feel special.
Each time I witness this beautiful gesture it makes me smile and fills my heart. Quite innocently she is filling the world with just a little more love. The love of a child is such a powerful thing. I should know, as a mother of 3. I am so grateful for their loving hugs each morning – the perfect way to start the day. They all like a wee snuggle in their groggy state to start the wake up process and who am I to refuse. I will steal all the snuggles and hugs I can get!
Not only do hugs feel great, but there are lots of benefits from hugs too!
~Babies need them to thrive
~Relieves pain and can raise our pain threshold
~Reduces risk of heart disease
~Lowers blood pressure
~Increases hemoglobin in the blood (the part that carries oxygen throughout the body)
~Releases oxytocin (happy hormone) and serotonin
~Lowers cortisol levels (the stress hormone) Lowers anxiety
~It relaxes muscles in the body in turn releasing tension in the body.
~Can help us to let things go and be in the present moment
~Strengthen the immune system
~Help to balance the nervous system
Well is that enough reasons for you to get 12 hugs a day???