One of the aims of my Bliss Bombs is to elevate feel good hormones like oxytocin and seratonin whilst reducing the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Speedy self-care by hormonal adjustment.
Oxytocin is known as the bonding hormone and is one of the reasons skin-to-skin contact is so important after birth and in the early stages of a baby’s life. It has an anti-anxiety effect and promotes trust and relaxation. We all could do with some, right?
One way to get an instant boost of oxytocin is to hug someone. A close, squeezy-in-a-good-way hug. Hugging for a longer period of time also releases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to happiness and well-being.
Hugging promotes connectedness. Often when we are stressed or overwhelmed, we tend to pull back from others at exactly the time we need to reach out and re-connect. To feel safe, feel loved.
I aim to get a good hug in at least once a day. It’s a simultaneous act of giving and receiving. Often when I hug my son, it’s because I think he needs a hug but it turns out that I get just as much out of the experience.
So, who to hug? It’s up to you – your partner, child, friend, sibling, parent, dog, cat… You’ll know who feels right.
A chest to chest hug usually feels best for me as I can visualise our hearts connecting and the energy flowing between them. Again, whatever feels right for you and your hug partner.
When you’re settled into your embrace, close your eyes and breathe. Feel the tension seeping out of you as you exhale and the love filling you up as you inhale. Keep breathing.
Become aware of sensations – the feel of your hug partner’s body and clothes, their smell, the temperature of the space, the sounds. It can be almost like time standing still for a few precious moments.
When you’re ready to let go, meet your hug partner’s gaze and smile. You may wish to say thank you, I needed that or something else from the heart.
HUGGING. A short cut to self-care that provides love and care to another at the same time. Who are you going to hug today?
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