If there’s one thing I feel that’s really missing in life right now because of living through this pandemic, it’s hugging. I am a hugger more than a handshaker and I really miss it. A LOT! It’s my way of expressing my unconditional love for someone and it’s also one huge way I often have felt unconditionally loved by another too.
After doing a little research, I discovered a great list of some main reasons why hugging is so beneficial to a human being:
- Hugging can instantly boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.
- Hugging for an extended time can lift one’s serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.
- Hugging can actually strengthen the immune system.
- Hugging can boost one’s self-esteem.
- Hugging can relax the muscles and take away pain, as well as soothing aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.
- Hugging can balance out the nervous system.
- Hugging regularly can also have similar beneficial properties as prayer, meditation, and laughter do.
But here’s the harsh reality. Because of social distancing, most people aren’t giving or receiving hugs right now, which I understand is for good reasons. The hard part though is the lack of human touch through things like hugs is causing me to feel a lot more alone in life, and I can’t imagine I’m alone in feeling that way.
I wrote an article last fall about the importance of human touch, as many scientific studies have been done surrounding the need for this. But, I don’t need studies to tell me what I have already discovered in life long ago and that’s how much human touch, specifically hugging, has helped me, especially during any one of those dark periods I’ve ever had to go through.
The fact is, a hug is such a simple way for me to express something where no words have to be uttered, that just says I care about you and you matter and vice versa whenever I’m receiving one. Unfortunately, I know for now that the best thing many of us will do is verbally say we love someone and that they matter. Thankfully, I have a partner who gives great hugs when I need one and I also have a few friends who continue to offer me them each time we meet up and depart, which mean the world to me. But, sometimes I still need to wrap my arms around myself and give myself a big hug, reminding me that the most important person that needs to love me is me. That’s probably the biggest task I have right now in life, as loneliness and isolation has set in more than not for me during this pandemic.
The fact remains though that regardless of my level of self-love and regardless of this pandemic, hugging is important and maybe even crucial in this world to helping us all know we aren’t alone, as that’s something that’s so easy to feel these days isn’t it? Nevertheless, be thankful for the hugs you still get, as they’re probably helping you more than you really know…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson