It’s Holiday time! Tomorrow is the Winter solstice,which occurs 04:49 GMT (Universal time) with the sun rising over Stonehenge 08:04. The winter solstice, the rebirth of the Sun, is an important turning point, as it marks the shortest day, when the hours of daylight are at their least. It also the start of the increase in the hours of daylight, until the Summer Solstice, when darkness becomes ascendant once more.
As 2015 winds to a close, look back at how you’ve changed. Sometimes those changes aren’t obvious, but they are exactly what these times are about: looking beyond the obvious into the subtle realms that are the basis of the future forming. Have you forgiven, made new choices that involve sharing your truth more, loving more, holding healthy boundaries more, recognizing your glorious worth more, saying yes to yourself and to life? These are the deep inner changes that create a new reality. It has been quite a year!
One change you can become aware of is the joy of hugging…..
Whooa….. your boundary is up and you step back and turn your head away, screaming inside that you don’t like hugging because you come from a family who didn’t hug!
There is a saying by Virginia Satir, a respected family therapist, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need twelve hugs a day for growth”
I always suggest to parents that they use hugging as a means to calm their angry child. The truth is that everyone benefits from a hug.
Did you know that Mata Amritanandamayi is known throughout the world as Amma, or Mother, for her selfless love and compassion toward all beings, just by HUGGING them. Her entire life has been dedicated to alleviating the pain of the poor, and those suffering physically and emotionally.
Throughout her life, Amma has embraced and comforted more than 34 million people. Amazing! Amma inspires, uplifts, and transforms through her physical embrace – HUG!
So why do millions of people queue for hours for a hug?
Hugging therapy is definitely a powerful way of healing. Research shows that hugging (and also laughter) is extremely effective at healing sickness, disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress.
Research shows a proper deep hug, where the hearts are pressing together, can benefit you in these ways:
- The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety. This helps with open and honest communication.
- Hugs can instantly boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.
- Holding a hug for an extended time lifts one’s serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.
- Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra, (where your belly button is). This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.
- Hugging boosts self-esteem. From the time we’re born our family’s touch shows us that we’re loved and special. The associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from our early years are still imbedded in our nervous system as adults. The cuddles we received from our Mum and Dad while growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level, and hugs remind us of that. Hugs, therefore, connect us to our ability to self love.
- Hugging relaxes muscles. Hugs release tension in the body. Hugs can take away pain; they soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.
- Hugs balance out the nervous system.
- Hugs teach us how to give and receive. There is equal value in receiving and being receptive to warmth, as to giving and sharing. Hugs educate us how love flows both ways.
- Hugs are so much like meditation and laughter. They teach us to let go and be present in the moment. They encourage us to flow with the energy of life. Hugs get you out of your circular thinking patterns and connect you with your heart and your feelings and your breath.
- The energy exchange between the people hugging is an investment in the relationship. It encourages empathy and understanding.
- Hug like you mean it.
- Let go of fear of letting someone close to you.
- Close your eyes.
- Take a deep breathe into the embrace
- Lean into the embrace.
- Squeeze, but don’t suffocate.
- Just BE with the person you’re embracing.
- Let go.
Now get out there and hug somebody like you mean it! Lives may very well depend on it … and Love definitely does!
p.s. No one to hug? Just wrap your arms around yourself and give it to you. Yeah I know it’s better with another human being. It just is, let’s not kid ourselves. Still, hugging yourself, if nothing else, is a great way to stretch your shoulders! Whatever you do … have fun doing it!!
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