Sparking the Creativity, Love, and Playfulness of the Human Spirit

I need a hug!

“We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”   Virginia Satir

It just makes sense donesn’t it?   It should be easy enough to get four a day.  Just ask. You’ll be surprised at how many folks are receptive to being hugged. Of course, some aren’t. In my personal research over the years, I’ve found that co-workers are more inclined than management. Something about maintaining a professional distance.  I can understand that. I can only hope they’re hugging someone, somewhere. Their emotional well-being can affext those they “manage”.

Many moons ago,  I read about a study done on newborn rhesus monkeys who were deprived of their mother’s touch.  Provided with warmth, food and shelter, they withered until an upright furry stand was placed near them and they could cling to it. Surrogate mom? To me it points to an innate need to give and receive physical contact/affection among the members of the animal kingdom…us included.

Those of you old enough to remember the last episode of  the Mary Tyler Moore show witnessed a group hug. A little difficult to orchestrate, but worth the effort. My favorite kind of hug is the “oreo”, involving  three people. I’m sure you can picture it. And each person can take turns being in the middle.

I should mention here that all hugging I’m referring to is done standing up. Any done in a prone position becomes “cuddling” , which may become the subject of a separate blog.

Hugging is pretty much universal, meaning there may be some cultures that just don’t. The only one I can think of may be the Eskimos, but then I’m not very well-versed on international cultures.

Hugging has been the subject of many art forms including sculpture and painting dating back hundreds of years. It can imply many things; shared joy, shared sadness, affection and love. They also vary in length, the longer suggesting a closer relationship.

There are different kinds of hugs between two people. The upper body hug …friendly. The full body hug…a little more intimate. The side hug. The handshake-backslapping hug, and the back hug. One comes up behind the other and encircles them with their arms.

Hugging can also reduce blood pressure and reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. So it feels good and its good for you.  Win, Win!   CAUTION! It is a good idea to ask first. Make it known to those around you that you are available should they need one, with the agreement that should you need one….

I heard about a man in Australia who started a “free hug” movement in 2006.  It’s never too late to start one here. You could start by purchasing a “professional hugger” button soon to be available on the Human Potential Center website. And keep an eye on the HPC link on Facebook. A “how to” video is now in the planning stages. You can also get one for free by attending any of the classes or workshops offered by the HPC.

Remember, 4 a day to survive, 8 to stay “alive”, and 12 to thrive.  The more people are hugging, the less they’re fighting.  Do your part for whirled peas.

Now get out there and start hugging!                                           Ram Dassnt

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