Weekend fix for the soul: Hug it out | lifestyle | Hindustan Times
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Weekend fix for the soul: Hug it out

lifestyle Updated: Nov 30, 2014 14:32 IST
Kamalrukh Khan
Kamalrukh Khan
Hindustan Times

In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole and complete when I receive a loving hug. I allow myself to enjoy receiving and giving hugs. The power of a hug is immensely profound, filling my heart and consciousness with positivity, which eventually radiates out of me in all directions. There is more power in a strong meaningful hug, than there are in a thousand words. The energy transferred is amazing, added to the emotional lift that one gets when one is hugged.

In short, hugs are awesome!

However, in today's times, something seems amiss. Millions of people world-over log into their social lives each day through different social media, have hundreds of friends in their networks, and yet somehow move through the entire day without having experienced even one human-to-human, warm-bodied hug.

In all my years of practice as a clinical hypnotherapist, I have witnessed how a spontaneous hug, a gentle touch or an appreciative pat on the back, has made many a client sob uncontrollably, releasing years of pent-up feelings, so crucial for deep healing. Hugs are therapeutic. Hugs are powerful. Hugs are an all-in-one miracle tool. Sometimes, a hug is all it takes.


Hug harder, laugh louder, smile bigger and love freely (Photo: Shutterstock)

Hugs are so amazingly versatile for expressing a range of emotions with startling accuracy- support, appreciation, compassion, empathy, apologies, concern, love. When words are not enough, hugs do the needful and they are always promptly redeemed! It is so much better to put love into hugs than to put it into words. More than touch therapy, it is about the experience of being able to develop a relationship based on trust and empathy with someone. Sometimes, a hug is all we need. Making a concerted effort to hug people close to you is one of the best ways to get a hug in return.
For all those who are awkward, queasy and rolling their eyes giving hugs, consider this- Hugging is scientifically proved to be extremely powerful and effective in healing loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress, by boosting Oxytocin levels in the body.

Oxytocin (also called 'love hormone'), is a very powerful hormone released by the pituitary gland, having incredibly powerful, health-giving properties. Hugging also strengthens the immune system and the heart, relaxes muscles, balances out blood pressure and the nervous system, soothes aches and pains (by increasing circulation of soft tissues) and increases Serotinin levels (hormone responsible for maintaining mood balance, deficit of which leads to depression).

It is also known to lower levels of stress hormones like Cortisol and stimulate Dopamine, the pleasure hormone. Interestingly, hugging is just as much beneficial for the person doing the hugging, as the person being hugged, revealing the reciprocal nature of hugs. So there - You have just been given umpteen reasons to go on a hugging spree with your loved ones.

As psychotherapist Virginia Satir famously said,- "We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth". With our busy lifestyles, one would think that twelve hugs a day is almost impossible….but impossible is just an opinion. If we want to, we surely can, given its calm-inducing qualities, near-immediate positive impact on health and mood elevation qualities.

So go out there, and do yourself a favour - give your loved ones a great big bear hug and get one in return. Hug harder, laugh louder, smile bigger and love freely. Everyone has problems and for sure mine don't compare, but the warm and fuzzy feeling that a hug evokes, is worth it every time.

Note: Kamalrukh Khan is a Mumbai-based Clinical Hypnotherapist and Wellness Coach. She's intuitive, strong and positive and loves travelling. She believes travelling to a new country is the best education she can give her kids. Painting and flying a plane or chopper top her bucket-list.