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Free Hugs
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According to my mother, I was one of those babies that loved to be held. Passed from arms to arms, I never fussed much. It seemed that being embraced by the ones that I loved comforted me, and made me feel safe. As I grew, the affection I was given as a young child became a very important part of me. I was always giving my family and friends hugs. Most of the people who knew me called me affectionately, The Hugs Girl.

I’ve come to realize that hugging can mean more to a person than anything you could say or do., Hugs are perfect for any situation whether sad, or happy. There's been many a time when a hug is exactly what I needed; and no words would do. When you give a hug to someone, or receive one, the feeling on both ends is one of love and comfort. It always feels good to giveor receive a hug.

Emotional Boost

Hugging is known as “a form of physical intimacy, that usually involves closing or holding the arms around the neck, back, or waist of another person” (Wikipedia.com). It has been known to have many health benefits, not only physically but psychologically as well. When you give a hug to someone, it can give him or her an emotional boost, lifting their spirits whether they are sad or not. There is a theory that states “You need four hugs a day for survival, eight for maintenance, and twelve for growth.” A hug helps with depression, anger, sadness, and fear. Most of our psychological needs can be fixed with a hug.

Hugging can also fulfill physical needs. A study showed that a hug helped raise the levels of oxytocin, which is a very important hormone, needed in female bodies for pregnancy. Also, its been known to reduce blood pressure, and stabilize heart rate. Hugging someone can improve their immune system, reduce stress, help a person sleep better, and increase revitalization. Dr. Mark Katz of L.A. Shanti’s Advisory Board says hugging helped patients with life-threatening diseases. "In my work, I have found that people who receive nurturing maintain a better outlook, on their situation…I recommend a hug a day." 1

So, the next time you see a friend or a loved one, don’t forget to give them a nice big hug. You will not only be helping them rejuvenate their life, but you’ll be helping yourself refresh your own mind and body.

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By Jennifer Camps. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

1 http://www.gagirl.com/hugs/hug.html

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