My husband is a natural born hugger. He gives the best hugs. I have learned to be a hugger. Our youngest daughter, Selah, is what we call a “muncher”. She is like the Tiny Toon’s cartoon character Elmyra that loves so big that she can’t help but give the animals a big full body hug. Selah is “munching” our Puggle Zoe in the picture above.
I never understood the saying, “Hugs Not Drugs”… I thought it was a cute motto that our D.A.R.E officers came up with back in Elementary school. (If you don’t know what D.A.R.E is, then I feel really old… basically it was a school Drug Prevention Program.)
I never realized that HUGS are more powerful than DRUGS! Research has shown that HUGS have many benefits. These effects are from deep hugs…not just the good old “A” frame hug or the classic side hug… but from the kind of hug where hearts are pressing together and heartbeats can almost be felt and heard. Here are just some of the benefits from HUGGING:
1. Mood Elevator: Boosts oxytocin & serotonin levels to decrease feelings of loneliness, isolation, & anger and increase happiness. 2. Strengthens Immune System (a lot of medical terms to the reasoning for this). 3. Increase Self-Esteem: Hugs from family members from an early age reinforce that you are loved and special and help us feel good about ourselves. 4. De-stresses & Relaxes
“We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” Virginia Satir (Respected Family Therapist)
Do yourself and someone else a favor … HUG!
Hugs, Tiffany Jo Baker
(Taken in part from “10 Reasons Why We Need at Least 8 Hugs a Day” by Marcus Julian Felicetti)