Hugging is a powerful form of self-expression. We express various kinds of emotions, moods, and feelings through hugs.
These include happiness, joy, excitement, fear, sadness, pity, love, and admiration.
We also give to receive hugs to express care and comfort. Hugs are amazing. When a person is sad, a deep sense of comfort can be gotten from one, warm hug.
Hugs trigger several reactions that we are not always aware of, most of which can be highly beneficial to our health and general wellbeing.
There is actually some scientific evidence and research to show that hugs are essential to our wellbeing.
Here are five reasons to “hug it out”:
- Hugs reduce stress levels. Hugging a person can significantly reduce the levels of cortisol being circulated around the body.
- Hugging helps a person struggling with grief. Losing someone we love is one of the hardest things anyone can go through in life. In times of grief and sorrow, burying ourselves in the arms of someone, whether we know who they are or not, can soothe our pain and calm our souls.
- Hugs make a person happier. Hugs help to improve a person’s mood and general disposition. Hugging and being hugged could even help keep your oxytocin (hormone which makes us happy) levels humming.
- Hugs may reduce the risk of falling ill. The other effects of hugging which include stress-reduction and happiness may work together to keep you healthy and less prone to illnesses, excluding conditions transmitted through bodily fluids and external agents.
- Hugs may reduce anxiety and fear. When a person is terrified, tense, anxious, worried, or frightened, a hug can make them feel less of any of these emotions at that particular time.
- Hugs create reassurance and confidence. Remember how you felt as a child when you fell over, or something nasty happened? – you asked for a hug. Children instinctively know how to increase their self confidence – and as an adult – it is hard to stop yourself picking up a child whose arms are outstretched towards you! Sometimes the simplest solutions can be to ask for exactly what we want!
A hug can convey a number of meanings. So, you should be aware of the message you are sending across while hugging. Here are the most common types of hugs, and what they mean.
It’s tight, reassuring, and worth a million words. The Bear Hug is what people who love each other completely share. It’s the sort of hug you’ve been getting from your parents–an embrace that relieves you of stress and anxiety. If you share this type of a hug with someone, it means things are pretty serious, and you have deep feelings for them.
This is the type of hug you usually share with acquaintances and colleagues. It’s given sideways, with only a partial upper-body contact. The lower body never comes in contact, indicating some discomfort or awkwardness. If you are giving or getting this sort of a hug from your date, it means that there is some distance in the relationship.
So, you are hugging someone with everything you’ve got, and the other person doesn’t even lift an arm to put it around your shoulder? You’ve just been given the One-Way Hug. The lack of reciprocation you just got from the other person means that they’re clearly not as into the relationship as you would like.
A close, full-body embrace, with eye contact–that’s what an Intimate Hug is. The eye contact takes this type of hug to a new level, because it is clearly about more than just physical touch. If you are experiencing hugs like these, it means you really have something special going on.
This sideways hug, with your arms over each other’s shoulders or on the waist, suggests a level of comfort and trust that transcends your everyday romance. It means that you aren’t just a couple, but also friends. If you usually sit or walk while sharing this type of hug, it means that your relationship is meant to last.
Another form of intimate hug, the Back Hug is a sign of both trust and protection. It’s the sort that kids usually give their parents, and the parents reciprocate by carrying them around. If you are receiving a hug like this, it means someone literally has your back. And if you’re giving it to someone, it means you are willing to protect them from anything.
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© Gayle Palmer Living Elements Clinic 2019