hugging his dog (Photo credit: Ben McLeod)
My father once read if your hugged your son 15 times a day, he would grow to be big and strong. My favourite brother (I have only one) is one of my favourite people in the world so one can assume it has worked.
At my father’s funeral last year, all of his grandchildren read a memory of their Grandad. My youngest nephew read this story, (after adjusting the mike to ensure we all heard his 7 year old self 🙂 and added ‘that my Papa now gives us (him and his brother) 15 hugs everyday to ensure we grow big and strong.’
I later asked my brother if my Dad had indeed given him 15 hugs a day. He replied ‘Yes for years.’
My father had 4 daughters and he was a tactile man but I don’t recall a daily hug quota coming our way:-) though I think he might have made up for it just in the week before he passed:-)
Virginia Satir a well known family psychologist famously said
‘We need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 for maintenance, 12 for growth.’
Science backs this up with the release of oxytocin by your pituitary gland in response to physical touch. This wonderfully powerful health promoting hormone occurs naturally in our bodies. It has even been proven that hugging reduces stress. Just 10 seconds is enough but why stop there:-)
It’s good with strangers but not quite so effective where trust has not been established.
Seems like a great excuse to make hugging part of your daily practice You can blame it on science 🙂
Now go hug your partner, your family, your friends, your animals and especially your children.
Watch them grow in front of you:-)
ps and I’ll have one too next time we meet 🙂