A hug can certainly be a meaningful and comforting gesture!
According to a study, conducted at the Universities of Virginia and Wisconsin in the USA, physical touch, including hugging, can have a positive effect on our well-being and can help to relieve stress! Women, who are self-identified as happy spouses, were recruited for the study. The study deliberately induced a neurological stress symptom in the participants to study the effects of touch; researchers were interested in understanding how touch can alleviate stress in a specific context.
And indeed, as long as their husbands were holding their hands, stress was immediately reduced! In fact, research showed that there were differences in the effects of touch from strangers compared to touch from loved ones. “The gesture of touch leads to the fight against stress because the brain and the body no longer need to work hard against the external threat!“, explains the head of the research.
So how many times have we experienced the healing properties of such a hug?
A hug can be a very attractive and comforting gesture, especially after a long day, when we may be feeling tired, stressed, or overwhelmed. However, it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness and demands of daily life and forget to take time for the simple, everyday things that can bring us moments of peace and happiness! If we think that being in the arms of our partner and experiencing physical touch can promote feelings of safety, comfort, and intimacy, perhaps we would be more inclined to hug each other more often.
There are many types of hugs each with their own meanings and intentions.
Hugs can come in different forms and have different effects on us. Some hugs may be neutral or polite, while others may be warm and comforting.Some hugs may lift us up and make us feel happy and supported, while others may leave us feeling disappointed or unfulfilled. There are hugs that make you wish you could stay there forever. These kinds of hugs can feel very natural and comfortable, as if your body was meant to fit perfectly with the other person’s body.
They can create a sense of intimacy and closeness that is hard to replicate in other ways. These types of hugs are often associated with romantic or deep emotional connections. Hugs can be very simple acts, but they can carry a lot of emotional weight and significance. Hugs like these can make you feel supported, comforted, and less alone in the world. They can give you a sense of security and remind you, that there are people in your life, who care about you and are there for you.
Yet, every hug is unique and can offer different things, depending on the circumstances and the people involved. Even seemingly similar hugs can have different meanings or intentions behind them! Because, when people hug, they express their emotions and feelings without the need for words!
People are connected, even if they don’t share any words!
It’s a physical expression of emotion that can be more powerful than anything that can be said aloud. Hugging can communicate feelings of love, affection, comfort, support, and even gratitude. It’s a way for people to connect with each other on a deeper level, without the need for language.
From the intangible experiences that we gain through living, we learn to distinguish the appropriate times for a simple hug and when a more intimate, longer embrace is needed; when a hug can be beneficial and when it might not be; when a hug can offer relief and comfort in difficult times, while in other times it may bring up painful emotions or memories. Indeed, sometimes the embrace of a loved one can be the only thing that keeps us going, even when our mind and heart are telling us to give up.
What is certain, however, according to scientists, is that we should definitely take advantage of hugs whenever we can, since they have a lot of positive effects on our physical and emotional well-being!
And if we sometimes forget about it, let’s try to remember how powerful a hug is and embrace each other, to help calm down and reconnect. Hugging can be a powerful tool to restore harmony and peace in a relationship! Let’s try to apply the knowledge we gained to our daily lives!
So what are you doing? Still reading the post? Give someone a hug and enjoy the benefits it brings!
*Photo by Becca Tapert