Today's mission is pretty self explanatory, so I won't waste much time in detailing the aspects of hugging. It's something we pretty much all know HOW to do... BUT do we implement it? Not nearly enough, in my mind. And apparently, I'm not alone. There are surveys out there that are measuring hugging - the amount and the effects! What a great job!
They have found that hugs not only increase the release of oxytocin, the "love hormone" or as some refer to it, the "cuddle chemical" but also the endogenous opioid system (which I didn't know I had) but these are neurons found in the brain that can produce "soothing" chemicals, to help deflect stress or anxiety and even to feel "safer and cared for".
And there is something to be said for children receiving hugs when the are upset, emotionally, or physically as that same collection of neurons also helps relieve physical pain and reduce fear.
Did you know that hugging also helps reduce "conflict exposure"? Meaning, that if you hug on the regular, you are less inclined to dive head first into a conflict. Your brain, literally calms you down, or at the very least slows the anger trajectory! Why we all aren't hugging our people on a regular basis, is beyond me.
Need another reason? How about- hugging can be shown to reduce high blood pressure, it increases our sense of "belonging", and helps keep the brain active and healthy.
I think I've found my new retirement strategy- hugging babies and elderly... Is there a job posting for that??
Needless to say, your assignment today is to get out there and start hugging! Start in your own household to get some good practice in before you take it out to the streets. My one caution is you might want to ask permission before you start throwing your arms around complete strangers. The Leading with Love Kindness Challenge does not have a built in Bail Money Fund. Hug with caution.
I do have one more request. Please share an image of your hugging adventure within the Facebook post.
Seeing hugs as well as the smiles they produce has great benefits as well. No one judge you for not hugging enough, or hugging too many, or hugging puppies or how and who you may choose to hug. It's a FREE HUG ZONE!!
Happy Hugging everyone!!