The Science of Hugs: Nature’s Tranquility Booster

r2g-p5-ai9-Hug-webScientists, doctors and moms tell us that we should receive at least three hugs a day. While we may know that the perfect hug, delivered at the optimal time by the right person (or anytime by anyone, if you’re a “hugger” by nature), can feel good, there’s considerable science behind the deeper benefits that has everything to do with the electro-chemical marvel of being in human form.

Hugs release an important hormone called Oxytocin. Among other benefits, Oxytocin relieves anxiety, lowers blood pressure and helps us feel calm,  centered and better connected to the world around us.

Hugs, and the Oxytocin they release, are so important that without them, our brains and bodies fail to develop properly and we become ill and malnourished.  Studies have shown that babies who don’t receive sufficient compassionate touch are 78% less likely to survive infancy.

One of the great things about hugs is that when you give one you also get one. A completely free, big-time win-win in which everyone involved truly benefits!

Because people and cultures vary in their individual boundaries concerning physical contact, it’s always good to ask permission before giving a hug. Even someone you are close to and have hugged many times, may find themselves in a place where a hug just doesn’t feel comfortable.

Once you have the all clear, HUG AWAY! It’s easy to do and fun to practice. With just a little effort, you can be a super hugger, appreciated by those whose lives you touch with hope, possibilities and empowerment as you foster the flow of Nature’s tranquility booster—Oxytocin—in the world around you!

If you find yourself in need of a hug, ask for one! It’s a great example of caring enough about yourself to pay attention to what you are feeling and then taking action to support your optimal functioning in each moment.

Like many of the best things in life, to reap the full benefits, you need to actually do it, not just read about it. So, quit reading this blog, walk away from the computer screen and GO HUG SOMEONE!

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About djwlifecoach

I am retired from 40+ years of helping individuals and teams build lives and organizations they love. One of the great joys of my retirement from professional practice is having greater bandwidth to donate my professional and creative talents to support and promote animal and social welfare charities. During my 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, I served as a senior partner in four of the world’s largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, I took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll. My recovery from burnout led to finding my purpose guiding others on their journeys. As a board-certified coach, author, consultant, radio host, Reiki Master and EFT/tapping practitioner, I share hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. 111419 DJW Sid CH Pet Corner Photo ShootI help clients achieve rapid, extraordinary, sustainable results by connecting who they are with what they do, a connection often lost through stress and the sheer busy-ness of daily life. Courageous self-awareness and unconditional self-love lead to honest choices based on priorities that nurture you and those around you on a journey to wholeness. Decades in coaching, consulting, change management, organization development, human resources and mixed media artistic expression honed my business sense, professionalism, creativity, intuition, leadership and communication skills. The result? Practical tools that help you become more insightful, creative, committed, productive and fulfilled. Even the most dedicated and hard-working individuals can shift from frustration to a sense of futility when their values, passion, work, and lives become disconnected. One of the problems with not taking care of our health is that the effects of ignoring it are often slow to show up. We continue to juggle family responsibilities, work and finances until we lose ourselves, waking up one day 50 pounds heavier in body and soul—no good to ourselves or anyone else. I love working with people who are ready to take life-changing action to make their dreams a reality. At each moment, you have inside you all the wisdom you seek to choose your life and your way of showing up. Limiting thoughts, beliefs and feelings can block you from moving forward. An absence of love and concern for yourself can result in negative head talk that holds you back with discouraging messages about who you are and what you can do. By listening and caring deeply, I guide you in connecting with your own inner wisdom. We identify the way you’d like to live. We determine what’s blocking you and release you from the hold those blocks have over you—unleashing the positive energy that will fuel you forward. Together we develop a plan to move you closer to your heart’s desire. My books, blog, radio show and signature coaching programs help individuals and organizations harness the transformative energy of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. What’s love got to do with it? Everything! My book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life! (Hay House/ Balboa Press 2013) shares my story and the stories of 10 of my clients along with my signature Discovery Framework. For fun, I love reading, sewing, knitting, yin yoga, afternoon tea, opera and movies. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia with my spouse, Wilson Abney, and the cat who runs our life, Maisy Jane.
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