My Mom loved hugs and was a world-class hugger. She passed this trait on to me.
I didn’t have children, and I’m single, so I don’t have those built-in hugs like some folks. I know other people don’t have hugs built into their lives either.
So, sometimes, I take a FREE HUGS sign to the farmers market or other public place and offer hugs to strangers.
Sometimes I do this after a traumatic event (like the 2016 election). But other times, it’s just because I could use some hugs (and I know other can, too).
There is always a wide assortment of folks who hug me, and everyone (including me) gets so much joy from the experience.
In 2022, I gave hugs as art during an open studio event in my neighborhood.
So, naturally, this NFT project involves hugs also.
During the pandemic, I decided that hugs were fairly safe when both people turned their heads in opposite directions. I only give hugs to those who want them, and I try to keep us both safe.
People need physical contact, and it’s surprising how many don’t get it often.
Hugs have so many beneficial qualities:
- Hugging releases oxytocin and other emotionally positive brain chemicals. These chemicals can make you feel happier and less stressed.
- Hugging also stimulates dopamine and serotonin production in your body.
- The stress-reducing effects of hugging might also work to keep you healthier.
- Hugging can be good for your heart health.
- Hugging is a very comforting and communicative type of touch.
Family therapist Virginia Satir once said, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” While that may sound like a lot of hugs, it seems like too many hugs are better than not enough.
So let’s get hugging!