Hugging each other deeply could top the list of what we've been missing to do since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.
As we lose physical touch, some people even face "affection deprivation" or "touch starvation" in other terms. This occurs if an individual experiences little to no physical touch for a long period of time.
This touch deprivation actually makes sense because humans are definitely social beings. Through physical contact, we received comfort which we really need this time, helps us to stay sane, gives satisfaction, and also a sense of security.
However, now that the Omicron variant looms and the cases are pretty high, it seems like we've been denied again of the deep embrace we've been longing for. But of course, we can always hug our family especially if we're all negative from COVID-19 or if or if we're all positive from it. Hope it's not the latter. Or we can do short hugs especially when we're wearing our mask and as long as we hold our breath as experts suggest.
And actually, despite being vaccinated, there is still some kind of hesitancy even if we've been craving for an embrace.
What are the benefits of hugging?
Research has shown that touch-feely people are happier and healthier. It's because physical touch even a simple hug is so powerful that it has tons of overall health benefits. It helps our body in multiple ways we didn't know and it goes beyond the warm feeling we get when we embrace someone in an affectionate way.
When we receive physical touch, our body releases a good amount of Oxytocin, our "feel-good hormone" which contributes to a lot of positive effects on our mind and body.
Hugging can help our physical, mental and psychological in many ways:
- Ease anxiety and depression
- decrease loneliness
- boost immune system
- relieve stress and reduce fatigue
- help lower blood pressure
- reduce heart rate
- boost self-esteem
- create better relationship
So if you're overwhelmed with worries and anxiety, why not ask for a hug or maybe you can hug them instead.
You can also give yourself a hug
But if you're in isolation or whenever you need it the most, there's nothing wrong with giving yourself some hug.
Yes, it might be pretty awkward and might look like you're too desperate for physical touch but there are circumstances that would prevent us to spend time with our family and friends.
Just think that it's only for the meantime anyway.
Here's how to do it:
Simply wrap your arms around your body, just as how you embrace someone. Position your arms in a way comfortable and natural. You can fold your arms around your chest or on your stomach. Go with whatever feels more comfortable and squeeze yourself as long as you like.
This self-hug is still a form of self-care. The nearest and most convenient way when you're drowning in too much stress and fears. And what's wrong with self-care anyway. It's one way of showing yourself some love.
A self-hug has also a lot of health benefits to our overall health as well. Here are reasons to hug yourself more:
1. Mood enhance
There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to relieving stress and combating anxiety, but somehow a simple embrace can lighten up your mood and lessen tension. This is because the warm feeling that we receive from a hug can lower stress hormone or cortisol levels in our bodies and boost our Oxytocin levels. As our body release more Oxytocin, it then lessens the feeling of loneliness.
2. Help reduce pain
Research has shown that the power of touch has an impact on pain relief. And again, this "love hormone" also plays a huge part in this pain reduction process.
Based on the research, as our body releases more oxytocin levels, it also helps reduce our body's sensitivity to pain as it indirectly lowers the sense of fear and worry.
3. Boost our self-esteem
Self-hug is another way of showing love to yourself. Giving yourself a soothing embrace can somehow send a sense of encouragement to our brain and body.
So, every time you feel like your self-esteem is running low, go ahead and wrap your arms around yourself.
So this January 21, as we celebrate Hug day, don't deprive yourself and your loved ones of a hug.
Love + miracles,