We’ve all missed connection — especially hugs. Today, try hugging someone a little bit longer than you normally would. When you’re ready to stop the hug, remind yourself to stay close for just five more seconds. Stay present, and tune in to all your senses as you enjoy the embrace.
Why Am I Doing This?
During the pandemic, we were cautious about hugging friends, strangers and even family members who didn’t live with us. But now, as more people get vaccinated, you can start to hug again.
There is a surprisingly large body of science devoted to the health benefits of hugs. The broad conclusion is that hugs are good for you. Not only do hugs help you better cope with the stress of daily life, but they are associated with beneficial physical changes inside your body as well.
One study looked at hugging among Olympic athletes and found the average hug lasted about three seconds. Other research has shown that when women receive hugs from their partner, they have lower cortisol levels during stressful situations. More frequent partner hugs have also been shown to lower blood pressure and raise oxytocin, a calming hormone that can lower stress and strengthen feelings of connection.
Read the whole story: The New York TimesMore of our Members in the Media >