Over the past year, I’ve read a number of articles about the numerous benefits of hugging. Yes, hugging. Known to promote the release of endorphins (which gives us a sense of happiness and well-being), boost our immunity, reduce our stress levels and speed the healing process, hugs are very powerful things – and well worth the time it takes to do right… not to mention the right amount.
Not surprisingly, these studies reveal that we are all under-hugged, stating that, in order to reap the maximum benefits of huggage (my own term), we need up to 12 hugs per day, each lasting at least five seconds – and a few from this daily ration optimally lasting about 30 seconds.
Now, you’re probably thinking: TWELVE HUGS? And a few lasting thirty-seconds each? With all the shit I need to get done during this holiday season??
But that’s not what I was thinking.
When I read this, I heard myself saying that I desperately needed more endorphins and less stress. Adding more huggage in my life certainly couldn’t hurt – especially since it would take less than three minutes each day to find out if it would help. And, given it was Christmastime, I felt it the perfect change I needed to get me into more of a holiday spirit.
So I decided to give it a go.
For about two few weeks, I hugged. A lot. Initially, I was uncomfortable, since I’m really not a big hugger. But there I was, hugging. Everyone. Patiently. Deliberately. Meaningfully. Generously. Being the last one to let go and feeling good about it.
After two weeks, I analyzed my results. At a moment in time when I had never before experienced more stress, I felt far less tense. More content. More loved. I sensed a stronger, more intimate bond with those around me, because these hugs were offered with intent and received with appreciation. I sent out lots more love than I ever had before and it all came back.
Full. Heart. Contact.
All from a hug.
How I adore the magic of learning the value of something I always took for granted!
I feel so good… so right about this revelation, I am making it my New Years’ Resolution.
In 2012, I will hug more. Everyone. Patiently. Deliberately. Meaningfully. Generously. I will be the last one to let go and feel really good about it.
So if I know you and you’re within hugging distance of me, you’re on the list to be receiving lots of hugs in the coming year.
And if you’re not within hugging distance of me, I hope you’ll be seeking out those around you for more hugs of your own. There’s delicious reciprocity in these gifts of hugs, and it takes only minutes a day to make an important difference.
This post ©2011 ORANGESWING.COM AND SUSAN RILEY.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.