Hug is giftChapter 1 Life Listens was about self-determining that you’ll never have a “bad day” again. I know that sounds a bit poly-anna, and I’m realistic enough to know that life is not always a bed of roses. In 1987, I was widowed at age 25, there certainly were many dark days of grief and misery before life seemed to return to something familiar and ‘normal’. There’s the helpless feeling as friends or loved ones are going through tough times or illness, and the loss of family pets – these are certainly emotional earthquakes that can derail all of us.

I’m not talking about the overwhelming life issues, simply the day to day grind – the ‘blues’ that get us down. Simple DECLARING OUT LOUD AND OFTEN – This will not rob me of my joy today! Have a bad moment, scream, kick, shout, run 3 miles do what you need to do to express yourself in a way that isn’t harmful to others, then move on.

One of the best ways to get over yourself is to get into others. I’ll talk about that a lot in these podcasts. For today, let’s focus on the powerful benefit of – – – HUGS! That’s right. Human contact and hugs.

Scientists, doctors and moms tell us that we should have at least 3 hugs a day.

Hugs have an important medical benefit in that they release an important hormone called Oxytocin. Among other benefits, Oxytocin relieves anxiety, lowers blood pressure, and helps us feel calm, centered and better connected 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. In fact, studies have shown that babies who don’t receive some form 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. It’s GOGO – Give One, Get One. Everyone benefits!

Hugs are fun to practice and almost always well received.  So with a little effort, you can be a super-hugger, loved by everyone, and releasing Oxytocin to the world around you!

There is one caveat to hugs – you must PRACTICE A LOT. So quit reading about it, and GO HUG SOMEONE!

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