Prescription Hugs – the healing benefits of hugging
A hug is such a simple remedy to handling the complex and sensitive emotions we have as human beings, and its intrinsic value to our health and happiness is overlooked.
If you have experienced a lockdown in the era of COVID-19 for two weeks or more, you might have an insight into what it feels like to be deprived of human interaction, meaningful touch and companionship?
The Pain of Separation
Last year for so many of us in Melbourne and around the world, we were alone for prolonged periods of time. It was a huge test of our resilience to cope with sudden change, intense grief, impeding financial ruin and social isolation.
Like myself, many endured a prolonged lockdown alone. My family and friends well and truly out of reach I struggled at times to feel ok. I was lucky enough to have my little dog Neumann as a solid and noble companion and it made a world of difference.
But some people had no one, and unlike the lucky folks with backyards, terraces, families, pets and sunlight, they were locked up in small apartments that closed them off from the world entirely.
The implications of these ongoing lockdowns can not really be quantified socially, emotionally or economically. Nevertheless, the effects of loneliness, hopelessness and future uncertainty on our way of life continue.
We know there are harrowing statistics regarding mental health and suicide rates due to the pandemic, and it continues to rise. And there is not a single person I know that hasn’t been emotionally and psychologically affected by the pandemic we are still in. And the solution to the mounting health crisis that impacts all of us is totally insufficient, and we know it.
The COVID_19 lockdowns have highlighted the realisation of how unwell we can become when we don’t have enough interaction with other living beings. Depression, anxiety and the feelings of grief and hopelessness among the many is expediential.
How long might it take for us to recover – unknown?…
Hugs could save lives!
After my experience of prolonged isolation, loneliness and grief, I learned what it was like to be touch-deprived and how serious its effect was on my health. I had depression for quite some time last year, and the lockdown we just had triggered feelings of doubt, angst and irritability in me and many others.
When I finally had the opportunity to properly and consistently interact with friends again, I recognised immediately how impactful being physically close to another being was for me and how quickly bad vibes and anxious feelings were subdued when hugged.
My experience got me thinking – how many of us could have our lives transformed by regular touch and meaningful hugs? How many of us are unaware that our society’s lack of human contact might be why we are unwell and critically imbalanced?.
We have a mental health crisis at our door, and accompanying this is the loneliness epidemic, and the two go hand in hand – could hugs help?.
It is factual that regular social contact, physical touch and big warm hugs help us handle the difficult emotions, grief and pain we all experience. Science says it’s so – and there is plenty of good evidence that proves that hugging heals.
Take one dose of hugs daily!
I am interested to see if you, too, can benefit from a good old fashioned dose of hugs?
I am prescribing 1 month of hugs and love to be taken daily.
Whenever possible, take the opportunity to connect with fellow humans through physical touch and cuddles. It important you make sure you choose someone who wants to hug you back. There is nothing worse than an empty hug; you will know the difference; it feels weird, and you won’t feel any better afterwards.
In the videos above there are some good guidelines and ideas for building up to a good long cuddle and how to provide and experience maximum benefits to your health and heart.
- I would recommend a diary to track your feelings, your health and your overall view on life throughout your hugging experience.
- I recommend hugs every day or as often as you can. Track in a diary whether there is an improvement to how you feel – and does it make your bond closer to your buddy?
- I would be curious to know if you experience any changes to your mood, health, and social and emotional bonds. So please send me an email, comment on my social media feed or post a letter to let us know how it goes.
Goodluck Fellow Huggers xxx
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