A gesture that is present both in situations of great joy and sadness, the hug is highly comforting. Being able to hug a loved one to celebrate an achievement or to do the same to comfort someone who is suffering is a way of expressing feelings intensely without having to use words. This information, by itself, already shows the power of the hug, however, the benefits of it go beyond and can positively impact even health, check it out!
1 – Helps to express feelings when words are missing
Do you know when you meet a friend who is going through a painful situation and just don’t know what to say to him? A hug can help you show all the affection you feel without having to say a single word. Even because, many times, there are no words capable of expressing what you want at that moment. The same goes for situations of intense joy, in which nothing you speak will be able to declare all your happiness.
2 – Reduction of cortisol levels
When two people embrace each other, their bodies have physiological reactions, which include a reduction in cortisol levels, known as the stress and anxiety regulating hormone. That is why receiving a hug is so comforting in delicate situations, because that gesture really has the power to calm the mood.
3 – Increased levels of hormones linked to well-being
If, on the one hand, hugging reduces cortisol levels, on the other hand, it increases oxytocin levels, generating a pleasant feeling of happiness. In fact, it is known as the “hug hormone”, due to the strong relationship it has with this gesture. Researchers have found that the benefits of oxytocin are most intense in women, especially when they are embraced by their partners and hold their babies in their arms.
4 – Helps relieve physical pain
A study of patients with fibromyalgia, a disease that causes pain throughout the body, submitted them to treatments involving physical touch, including hugging. At the end of the survey, participants reported a considerable reduction in pain and an increase in quality of life. This is because loving gestures that involve touching, such as hugging, stimulate the release of endorphins, considered the hormone of happiness.
5 – Can improve heart health
The benefits already mentioned in relation to the reduction of stress and anxiety levels help to improve heart health. One of the reasons for this is that the hug has the power to decrease the heart rate, reducing the risks of associated diseases.
6 – Strengthens the immune system
Research by experts at Carnegie Mellon University in the United States suggests that hugging helps protect people from infections associated with stress, resulting in less serious illnesses. The study was based on the social support that is transmitted through the gesture.
7 – Reduces blood pressure
A major benefit of oxytocin, the “hug hormone”, is the reduction in blood pressure. This is a relevant question because avoiding the increase in pressure is a highly relevant factor in minimizing the risks of a series of chronic diseases, such as hypertension.
8 – Connects and creates a bond of trust between people
The connection that is created during an embrace is so powerful that it is capable of generating a strong bond of trust between people. When we are embraced we feel protected, welcomed and this is very good because it benefits relationships and helps to promote emotional balance.
9 – Improves self-esteem
As soon as a child comes into the world, the first gestures of affection that he receives are from his family and there he begins to feel loved and special, starting to build his self-esteem. And this continues to apply during adulthood, as the hug continues to have the power to make a person feel loved and stimulated to also love themselves.
10 – Help in conflict resolution
When two people argue, both are uncomfortable with that situation. If they move away, they will spend a lot of resentful time, brooding over everything they said and heard. One way to prevent this from happening is to both let your guard down and hug. Thus, they will be able to repress bad feelings and resolve the conflict in a friendly way, through dialogue.
How to express affection during the quarantine?
Now that you know the importance of the hug and all the benefits it can offer, you may be regretting that you can’t do that today. However, instead of thinking like that, prefer to adapt to reality and show your affection in other ways. Then, when the pandemic is controlled, you can embrace all the hugs that were not given during the period of social isolation. Until then, you can resort to other types of actions, like the ones you will see below.
1 – Offering help
The indication of the health agencies is that everyone stays in their homes and leaves only if necessary. Regarding the elderly, who are considered more vulnerable to the virus, it is recommended that they avoid going out and asking other people to do their shopping and perform other tasks. Thus, offering help to someone who cannot leave is a way of showing their affection.
2 – Writing down what you’re feeling
If you would like to give a warm hug to the people you love, tell them in writing. As much as words are often lacking to express all the feelings involved, writing about it helps to relieve anguish and better understand what you are feeling. This is also an opportunity to write longer and deeper messages, such as letters, since short texts now occupy this space.
3 – Fazendo chamadas de vídeo
Como o contato físico está temporariamente suspenso, é preciso utilizar outros recursos para demonstrar afeto, já que essa troca é muito importante, principalmente em meio à situação delicada que estamos vivendo. Nesse sentido, as chamadas de vídeo são uma ótima saída para conversar com os entes queridos, dizer o quanto são especiais, enfim, buscar e obter apoio, transformando a conversa em um abraço virtual.
4 – Ouvindo as pessoas
Cada pessoa reage aos problemas de maneira diferente, existem aquelas que se sentem mais tranquilas e confiantes, enquanto outras se mostram mais ansiosas e inseguras. Se você faz parte do primeiro grupo, ofereça para ouvir os seus entes queridos que se identificam mais com o segundo. Acolha o que eles disserem com toda atenção e ofereça palavras de conforto, essa é uma forma de “abraçar à distância” e demonstrar seu carinho.
5 – Criando grupos com pessoas queridas para compartilhar o dia a dia
Uma forma de “abraçar” vários entes queridos inclui criar um grupo em um aplicativo de mensagens, como o WhatsApp, para que compartilhem o dia a dia. Assim, cada um poderá mostrar as coisas que está fazendo e incentivar os outros a aproveitarem os dias de isolamento social de maneira positiva.
6 – Transmitindo mensagens positivas pelas redes sociais
Além de demonstrar o seu carinho de modo privado, diretamente para os seus entes queridos, você pode fazer isso de forma geral, compartilhando mensagens positivas através das redes sociais. Muitas vezes, palavras de carinho podem transformar o dia de alguém. Transmita coisas boas e isso irá retornar para sua vida.
7 – Enviando mensagens quando sentir saudade
Sempre que sentir saudade de uma pessoa em especial, envie uma mensagem a ela contando o quanto deseja que tudo volte ao normal para que possam se encontrar e se abraçar. Mesmo que a mensagem não substitua o abraço totalmente, o fato de o outro saber da sua intenção certamente será reconfortante e irá aquecer o seu coração.
No momento, deixar os abraços para depois é a melhor maneira de cuidarmos uns dos outros e nos protegermos. Quando o vírus for contido e a rotina voltar ao normal, poderemos dar todos os abraços que não foram dados durante o período de isolamento e torná-los parte das nossas vidas.
Se este artigo fez sentido para você, aproveite e envie-o para todos aqueles que você gostaria de dar um longo e caloroso abraço.