Hugs can make my day. I can be anxious and stressed because I scheduled too many tasks and not enough rest time between and then someone hugs me and the anxiety melts away. Hugs are a reminder that we are not alone. Now some of you may be thinking—I am alone. There is no one to give me hugs. My reply is—You are there, and there are just as many benefits to hugging yourself. Try it out right now. Put your arms around yourself, set your hands in your armpits and give yourself a hug! First Self, then other, I have been known to say. If you cannot be your own best friend then how can you love and support anyone else?
Science has studied the effects of hugs on people. They found a good hug will reduce stress, boost your immune system, cause the brain to emit serotonin and oxytocin, and balance the nervous system. There are acupressure points under your arms that open the heart center, among other things. My sister taught me that love sucks…we are talking about the heart chakra, not the emotions surrounding heartache! Many people visualize the heart chakra as pushing love out into the world; however, rather than pushing love out, try sucking everything in. Imagine your arms coming around the person and enfold them in a gentle hug. The very nature of hugs is enveloping. Imagine pulling yourself into your heart center as your arms embrace you. Psychologically, hugs are a form of nonverbal communication; and we all know how important communication is. These days we spend more time with our smart phones and computers and less time with friends and family. Have you ever been out to dinner and watched as a group of friends spend the entire time relating with their phones and not each other? I spent two semesters living in a dorm when I was in my late forties (yes, you read that right!) and watched the kids stand around in groups, connected to their Ipods, ignoring each other.
I know for myself, when I hug I relax and begin to breathe. My muscles let go and my brain pauses. From there I am able to connect with the center of my being and hear that still small voice within—the Wise Self, some call it. It really doesn’t matter if I am hugging me. In truth, if you want to attract people into your life learn to hug yourself. Before long you will radiate an inner sense of peace, and peace is attractive and contagious.
In closing, practice hugging yourself and stimulating the acupressure points. Practice pulling your Self into your heart center and saying, “I love you”. When you are out doing errands or at work, practice connecting with people by making eye contact and pulling them into your heart. If you would like to get more hugs, then give more hugs, beginning with Self.