Hope your week starts well – but before you hurtle into the morning “get in the car !”  for school runs how about this…

Our family are pretty affectionate, but when things were tough with health, grief and life worries a few years ago I found that stress made me agitated, more disconnected and less abundant with my hugs.

But after reading research about touch’s great healing and nurturing powers and Virginia Satir’s work as a family therapist that we all need 4 hugs a day for emotional survival – 8 for maintenance and 12 for personal growth I made it one of our family must dos to hug each member of the family at least 4 times a day so we get our quota  we are big huggers and one of us will often will shout out “family hug” wherever we are but it’s good to remember something that seems so simple  has so many emotional, physical and spiritual benefits.

Don’t underestimate the value or importance in your own or your childrens’ current wellbeing and future happiness.

Think of loved ones around you who may not get hugs as much or anymore those that live alone etc.

Sometimes I make a wee visit just to give people I care about a hug or two x even if or lives are a bit hectic with family schedules and work. .

Also sometimes with people I don’t know very well who look like they are going through pain or are upset I will give them a hug.

A genuine deep hug can really make a difference – I have had people I work with thank me for intuitively knowing that they just needed a nurturing hug and that allowed them to calm down and come back from an anxious or stressed headspace.

That is not to say that I would ever want to go to one of those Louis Theroux type hugging parties but with the evidence below it is no wonder people who may not have been hugged much as children or are going through tough times and have no-one to turn to would look for healing non sexual touch.

Here are 8 reasons to give real hugs. 

1. Hugs strengthen the immune system according to research by the Carnegie Mellon University 

2.Hugs boost self-esteem and connect us to our ability to self love, according to UCLA 2014 study. 

3. Hugging relaxes muscles, releases tension and increases circulation in the body. 

4.Hugs teach us that it’s just as good to give as it is to receive. A great lesson to teach your children.  

5. Like laughing or meditation hugs put you into the present and in the moment which is really therapeutic – often when the kids are stuck in a loop of argumentative thinking I tell them to hug it out and suddenly their mood and thoughts change.

6. Hugs can create more empathy and understanding between people.

7. Hugs can build trust  according to a study by University of Vienna and create a more open and honest conversation with loved ones. .

8. Hugs instantly boost oxytocin levels, which help heal feelings of anger, stress, loneliness and anxiety. .

Basically Hugs make you happier .. and who doesn’t want to feel safe and loved in the world we live in now.

Have a great day