My son and I have a running joke. We count the hugs and kisses we give each other each day and we laugh and giggle and are silly about it. Sometimes he likes to give me five quick hugs in succession which misses the point but rather than try to explain that to my lovely little boy I get him to breathe with me when we hug. One big breath per hug gives
me us a few seconds to enjoy the warm feelings hugs bring and makes it more fun. But secretly it’s no joke.
Giving hugs to those we love is critical to mental, physical and emotional health. In fact, I read somewhere that giving and therefore receiving sixteen hugs a day is the minimum daily requirement and sadly, most of us are falling short of that. So how can we make hugs a priority in our lives? Start counting them and make it fun!
5 Reasons Why You Need 16 Hugs a Day
- Hugging lowers your blood pressure, always a good thing!
- Hugging is like meditation; when you breathe through a hug it will help relieve stress, without drugs!
- Babies who are hugged often live longer and are happier as adults.
- Hugs can instantly boost oxytocin levels, reducing the feelings that lead to loneliness, isolation, and anger.
- Hugging brings you into the present moment to feel more connected to the ones you love.
- Hugging elevates your mood helping you to feel more relaxed, hopeful, and loveable.
I want my son to know that physical contact with those you love, and subsequent hugs and kisses is not only fun but it feels good and helps us connect to each other in a way that we don’t have to explain. Because sometimes words just don’t measure up to the feelings we get when we feel loved.
Do you make a point of hugging the ones you love at least sixteen times a day?
The photo above was taken by Lauren at Astrid Miller Photography.